TB Investigates

Remote Learning Testimonials From Parents And Teachers Part 1

 

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Remote learning is child abuse. Some have accused me of being hyperbolic when I say that, but these people aren’t seeing the reality of what happens during remote learning. I see it every day when my 5 year old is unable to make friends and thinks an education is staring at a computer for 3-5 hours a day. Every day is a battle just to convince her to log on. The media is not reporting on what remote learning really involves, so that’s where TB comes in. I asked turtle riders to send in their stories of remote learning and gave them the option of sending me videos and pictures of their kids for publication. I’ve decided not to publish any faces of kids, although some parents have given permission, but they are powerful. I’ve been flooded with emails so I’m going to publish several blogs with your testimonials. Remember while reading these that the reason we are doing this is because local school committees are bowing to unions who are threatening to withhold their labor if they are forced to be around our children. I want to reiterate that most teachers I have spoken with want a full return, they just want courthouses and other municipal buildings to open up too, which is completely fair.

 

My 4th grader is doing ok so far but my second grader has legit been crying the entire morning just sitting at his little desk in front of his chrome book.  He yelled out loud at one point “I wish I was in school and it would be better.” Heartbreaking. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry myself last night and then some more today when they were outside after their short lunch break watching them playing and smiling knowing when time was up they’d have to go back and stare at a screen.  I really don’t know if I’ll make him go on again tomorrow because it is traumatizing him. Traumatizing is such a dramatic word but in this case it’s perfect.  I feel bad for your kid too starting off this way.  They’re all being robbed and it’s disgusting

 

Wareham

I’m a single working mom so obviously my babysitter is helping my daughter. The babysitter is my 73 year old grandmother who has no idea what she’s doing but I have no other choices because I can’t not work. It’s ridiculous that they expect us to work and do the teacher’s job as well. The poor teachers now have to answer a million questions because nobody has any idea what to expect right now. Let’s not forget they’re having kids go to school 2 days a week for half days, I didn’t know Covid waited 4 hours to enter the building. If I’m gonna risk my kid getting Covid why wouldn’t they get maximum use of the day? Now I have to leave work early to get my child as well?

 

Carver

My daughter is in the second grade. Today they had a drawing assignment. My daughter loves to draw! The assignment was a self illustration. Then to my surprise it had to include a Face Mask! Attached a screenshot of the teacher example. She was drawing along with the class.

Regardless of how you feel about masks, we haven’t put any thought whatsoever into the psychological effect we’re having on children to teach them that they must cover their face with a mask or risk dying from a virus. We are teaching them that they are dangerous, a threat to killing their teacher, and in danger of dying themselves. None of this is true.

 

My son is 6 he is autistic and also ADHD. All his work needs to be done by 3 pm everyday, even though I work until 2pm and we do not get home and get settled until 2:30 pm everyday and if it is not submitted he is marked absent. I’ve made it clear I work full time because I am a single mom who does things alone and they responded with well who ever he is with needs to do it with him. Which in our case is hard considering my mother who suffers from MS is the one who watches him and she can’t sit there with him for hours without being in pain. They want him to sit there for 3 hours and stare at a computer screen. They give little breaks to move. My son cried off and on the entire day. We thought he would be able to at least chat with his classmates to have some sort normality. That wasn’t the case. We had to stay muted until we were called on. He had a full on melt down when the day was done because he couldn’t even talk to his friends. I had snapped this picture of him breaking down because I quote “sitting here is to hard for me my mom. I promise I’m trying”

 

Chicopee

We are doing remote learning in Chicopee, one of nine elementary schools, with all the distractions of 11 kids in a zoom at once, some of them without parents near them. Some of them with ratchet parents in the background who forget to mute. It’s heartbreaking to see my 5 year old son go through this. My child is extremely active, loves to be social and has not been social distanced, masked up or scared. However this situation he’s un interested, distracted, cries, loses focus cries more. I’m with him all day next to him through all of it, and by the end of it I’m wiped and have a headache. We need to fight back as parents these kids need to be back in school without mask without testing and stop toying with education.   Here are some pics from the last three days of remote learning with my son

 

Teacher

The part of your article that I take issue with is where you basically shit on all teachers. I personally agree that kids need to be in the classroom and that it is developmentally inappropriate for children to be in front of a screen all day.  My union, like MANY others rallied against the fear and impracticality, but it was the community who wanted it this way. No one asked for or listened to our input.  We had awesome ideas for facilitating work-study internships, community college partnerships, and fieldwork for older high school students, and utilizing the extra space in high schools to allow elementary and middle schoolers to have a full return. We got crickets. The majority of teachers in MA are now stuck in this hybrid hell.  It isn’t protecting teachers.  We are still in school every day working with rotating groups of students.  The hybrid model is for the benefit of the administration so they can say, “look at what we are doing to protect your babies.” It is not for teachers.

 

Teacher

So as I bust my butt teaching my students in person, online, and still mustering the enthusiasm to respond politely to the 400+ emails I get every day, I’d appreciate not being lumped together with the cry baby fear mongerers. And as far as teachers just collecting paychecks, please know I’m a parent too and I live in the district in which I work. I, too, pay over $12k per year in property taxes. I can’t be at home with my kids during their remote learning days, so I had to enroll in private school.  After insurance and tuition, I ALMOST break even, but not quite. This is hard for all of us, but not all cops are bad, and not all teachers are lazy pieces of shit.

 

Single Mom battling cancer

I’m a 36 year old single mom with two boys. I was diagnosed with cancer in November 2019; Thanksgiving Day. I finished treatment March 2020. One week later the world shut down. I survived cancer, I survived taking my boys to sports practice after chemo and radiation every single day. I survived March-August; COVID free. I’ve had multiple COVID tests because of the job I have working with compromised individuals. I have a compromised immune system; yet I worked every single day because I’m an essential employee, even with my immune system. I fought to go to work because I wasn’t going to bail on my coworkers. I worked through treatment. I can work through a pandemic.  My son has a compromised immune system due to various illnesses. And yet, I want my children in school. 

The first day of remote learning; by 9:01am I was in tears. Two kids; one in 1st and one in 4th… and I’m trying to work from home. My job is flexible which thankfully they are because if not I wouldn’t know what to do. I work from home the days my hybrid children are remote.

I can’t answer calls because one of them needs help logging in, connecting to WiFi, spelling, typing, pencils sharpened, crayons missing, snacks, questions, help with everything. I’ve had to apologize to potential new employees since March for the MMA cage fights ensuing in the background. My boys love school; they love the routine, the freedom, learning, playing, engaging… it’s all gone. They have lost their motivation, their social connections, their individuality, and their education. If anyone should be scared of COVID or whatever virus is out, it should be me. I’m more afraid of my children losing themselves than I am of COVID. I’m more afraid of failing as a mother.. than COVID. My kids deserve the chance to learn, grow, socialize, and be free. I love our teachers and ours have been amazing. They hate this just as much as we do. I will give my boys vaccines, masks, hand sanitizer by the gallons… give my boys the education and freedom they deserve. We are not okay…

 

6 Year Old Webster

Remote learning started out great, she was occupied and focused in her room. I checked in on her and she told me it was gym time so I said “put shoes on and go outside to play”. She said she couldn’t, she needed to stay on Zoom and knows our WiFi doesn’t work good outside. She knows the rules of our house and can’t stomp, run or jump, out of respect for the neighbors below us, so she just sat there. I checked the screen and all the kids were just sitting, muted, staring at the screen of kids they don’t even know. The day declined from there as she grew bored. At one point she had turned down the volume. She had mentally checked out, and I can’t blame her. By the end of the day, she had so much energy built up she was literally bouncing off the walls. When school ended she ran outside and played with the neighbor until it was time to come inside and then the tantrums started. She tells me she doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow, she doesn’t want to sit alone in her bedroom all day, she was upset because she didn’t make any friends – she can’t make any friends like this. My heart broke. My social butterfly isn’t able to talk to new people and make new friends. My fashionista has no desire to get dressed, when last year she wanted a picture of every outfit she wore. She has zero interaction with her peers, only the teacher.

I understand there’s a pandemic, but these poor kids haven’t had it easy, they were just given a tiny bit of independence, having to get yourself around the school without mommy, and then it was ripped away. I guess I don’t understand how one school district has in person learning 3-4 days a week and another is fully remote with no date when hybrid may start. These kids are basically being told they’re expected to not do well with masks, social distancing, hand washing but haven’t even given them the opportunity to prove otherwise. It’s tough on teachers and they’re extremely patient, it’s tough on parents who work or have multiple children, but it’s the hardest on the kids who can’t just be kids. I hope everything gets smoother as time goes on because my child’s education and mental health are far to important for me to sit back and do nothing.

I have many more stories and will continue publishing them every day moving forward. Remote learning is abusive to children. It should not be considered an acceptable alternative to in person education. Schools must find a way to make the schools fully reopen for 100% of students. It’s not our job to figure out how to do that, it’s their job. If we don’t advocate for our own kids then who will? If you’d like to share your stories of remote learning please email me at turtleboysport@gmail.com or message me on Facebook at Clarence Woods Emerson. 

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