Virtual Learning Can be Hard, But I Have Hope

Written by Annette Corona
Mom of two PAVE scholars (3rd & 6th grade)

It’s 7:45 am and the mad dash begins. “Finish breakfast! Is your laptop charged? Do you have your headphones? Do something to your hair!” No matter what time we wake up, no matter how much extra time we have, it is a similar chaotic dance every morning.

I have the privilege of working from home, which, let’s be real, can be a blessing and a curse. I share my office (my dining room) with my third grader and my sixth grader dominates the kitchen. I have the ability to listen to our wonderful PAVE teachers as they navigate their lessons, the needs of the scholars and sometimes their own children. I have heard our third grade teacher, Ms. Osborne, guide her students with such grace and patience that it makes me wonder how she does it. I on the other hand want to jump in to the Google Meet to repeat the direction she gave three times already when another scholar asks, “What are we supposed to be doing again?”

I got over the urge to join the class meetings a few weeks in to the school year as things began to normalize, systems started to come through and the kids were “getting it”. There was a rhythm starting and things began to click. Things are not perfect, but everyone is doing their best. My kids are learning. They are developing new skills navigating this virtual world and learning new content provided by their teachers.

I believe our teachers want to be in the classroom. We, parents, want our kids in school. Though my kids LOVE being in socks or barefoot all day, I am sure they would prefer to create memories in school and build strong bonds and lasting connections with their friends. I am hopeful we will get there.

We all should try to operate with understanding, patience and grace as all of our scholars, teachers and parents navigate this virtual world from different spaces and under various circumstances.

For now, I am trying to fully embrace the delicate balance of working from home and virtual learning. I shoo my son into the living room when my meetings and calls need to happen in our shared “office”. I also make him raise his volume when he is next to me so I know exactly what he needs to be working on. I call out to the kitchen when I hear a YouTube video playing that I know has not been assigned viewing and say, “Are you on a break? What are you working on now?”

Again, it isn’t perfect and it isn’t ideal, but it is real, it is consistent and the kids are working. We will get back to in person learning. Our kids will catch up, our teachers and administrators are working diligently on that. For now, I will take deep breaths when it gets hard and call my best friends when it gets too hard. I will continue to smile when my kids are actively participating and high five them off camera when they get an answer right. Whatever you choose to do, do it. Celebrate the little wins. No one knew we would be parenting, teaching, learning and living through a pandemic. Stay hopeful, stay safe.