We asked one of our favorite teachers to share her tips on how to balance working and teaching from home and keep everyone sane, safe, and happy.
Working from home for many of us has become the new norm. We are all trying to figure out how to navigate through this unfamiliar world.
For those of us who have children at home, the challenges that arise are unimaginable and causing additional stress in this trying situation. Parents who are typically at work while their child is in daycare or school now have to figure out how to successfully manage two full-time jobs simultaneously. Trying to sit at a computer, talk to students or clients, etc. all while having young children crying for attention or school-aged children begging their parents to help them with their schoolwork seems impossible.
Parent guilt is setting in as we watch our children have meltdowns, playing on devices or watching more television than we’d like, and the house always looks like a tornado swept through even after you stayed up late cleaning. We are all worried that any routine that was put in place is being replaced with bad habits. Worrying about what kind of lasting impact this may have. The first thing we need to realize as parents is, it’s okay. We are all experiencing this together. Our children are strong and although there may need to be some recovery time, we will continue to thrive.
If your child is school-age and trying to complete assignments at home, the best thing you can do is support them wherever they need. If you have questions, reach out to the teacher, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Become familiar with the platform their teacher is using, such as Google Classroom, Seesaw, or Flip Grid. Something that helps my students is looking at the schedule and making a written checklist of all the assignments that are due by the end of the week. That way they can cross off as they go. Be flexible. Remind your child to save any difficult assignments for when you have a chance to sit with them and continue with work that they can complete on their own.
For those of us, like me, that have children who are younger, try to go easy on yourself. I know that your child is probably banging on the door begging you to play with them and you just want to cry. Try to find activities that your child can do independently while sitting next to you, such as puzzles or drawing. They will still feel your presence while you feel as though you accomplished your work tasks.
Just remember, be present for your children as best you can, and don’t go too hard on yourself. They just need us; our love, our support. Be kind to yourself. You got this!
Kimberli D’Angelo has spent the last decade inspiring elementary school students and is a special education teacher in a co-teaching setting. She lives in South Plainfield with her husband, an amazing 2-year-old son, and his best friend, Ellie (the pup).