From High School to Elementary Teaching

Teachers navigate new waters as they balance teaching and parenting at home.

Rylie Mendez, Staff Writer

Everyone’s lives have shifted since the hit of COVID-19. School has closed, leaving all students and teachers cooped up at home with a new system of learning to navigate. While students only have to worry about finishing assignments, teachers have come home to find they have a few new students: their children. 

Many teachers are still struggling to master the distance E-Learning process. They reorganize their lesson plans, videotape lectures in makeshift teaching spaces,  and deal with technology buffers all day long. On top of all this, they have their own kids to entertain.

“It has been really nice to have extra time as a family, but I do think we will eventually want things to go back to normal. Another challenge on top of everything else is the inability to really go anywhere and see friends or extended family members,” history teacher David Falke said. 

Falke has two kids at home, a seven-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. Both of his children have their own distance learning assignments that they must complete.

“The balance of teaching my high school students and my young children at home has probably been the most challenging thing about E-Learning. Thankfully, my wife is an elementary school teacher, so she has been helping the kids with their work too,” Falke said.

Falke tries to help his children first thing in the morning before he gets busy with his high school classes. Spanish teacher Stephanie Scholz takes a different approach with her children. 

“I have found a nice routine of recording my instruction the night before it’s posted after my daughters are in bed. This way I can spend the day fielding emails, but also spending time with my own kids,” Scholz said.

Scholz has two little girls, a  two-year-old and six-month-old. Since being home, Scholz has got to spend a lot more time with her kids, but she misses seeing her students in the classroom. 

“The biggest drawback [of E-Learning] is not having face-to-face interaction with my students. I miss hearing students use Spanish and get excited about the material,” Scholz said. 

Both teachers would prefer being back in the classroom to teach their students,  but they understand that distance learning is what’s safest for everyone. Since they’re at home, they are trying to enjoy this time with their families.

“[My husband and I] are both usually busy with our jobs, so when we have time to play outside with our kids or go for walks, we really embrace it,” Scholz said.