Re. “Kids may be enjoying extra time at home, but parents, not so much,” (The Tri-City News, April 8)
In response to the editorial “Kids may be enjoying extra time at home, but parents, not so much,” I feel mad, sad and everything in between.
The government didn’t act quickly enough to roll out virtual education? Are you kidding me? It has been exactly nine school days since spring break. Teachers had a Continuity of Learning Document within four days that outlined expectations for teachers.
I am hearing a distress signal loud and clear from many teachers and parents. The distress that teachers feel — and parents now teaching at home — lies squarely on the shoulders of a government that was in such a hurry to make sure teachers did meaningful work that they did not consider the impact virtual learning would have on the education community at large.
I acknowledge that there is a natural tension between a government making a timely response and taking the time to address all issues. I would argue that the quick response left too many things inadequately considered.
While this editorial has taken issue with the bureaucracy of government, I cannot help but feel it is a veiled dig at teachers as well. Teachers are guilty by association. It only takes some reading between the lines, that kids are doing everything at home except learning their ABC’s and 123’s, for teachers to feel the sting that they, like the government, have not responded properly.
The impact of virtual education has been underestimated and has failed to address the deep layers a response that a crisis of this magnitude requires. It is precisely because virtual learning rolled out so fast that adequate time to consider the complexities did not happen.
If anyone bothered to ask, teachers have stepped up in more ways than you will ever know. Parents have been nothing short of supportive. Teachers struggled to whip together virtual lessons while parents were left unprepared for the demands of their own work, shepherding their families through a pandemic and on top of it all, having to help teach their children at home often without adequate technology, to name one issue.
My distaste for the article is that it felt critical at a time when concern and a greater understanding of the kinds of issues teachers and parents face is called for. Point out where things could be better, for sure, but with a spirit of generosity, not blame and shame.
I believe the editorial seriously misread the temperature of the current virtual education scene. I hope a more balanced and truthful account of what is actually happening in our community as parents, teachers and students find their way through this pandemic can be written, rather than publishing an article insinuating that our hard-earned tax dollars are not being put to good use, or people are not working hard enough.
Parents need to have their challenges teaching children at home taken seriously. In my humble opinion, educators have earned every penny of their wages and hopefully some respect. They certainly have mine!
Julie Eastman, Coquitlam
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