Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Hump Day Poll: BTS

This was always the week that I started back to school as a kid.  Obviously, back to school is going to look quite different for millions of kids around the world given the pandemic.  It's created an impossible situation for teachers, parents and children and all I can do is pray for all involved.

That got me thinking about what would happen if this pandemic hit when I was in school.  Let's say 5th grade so mid 80's.  No computers so online learning wouldn't have been possible.  My mom was a single mom who relied on every dollar so there's no way she could take off work like parents are doing now.  Dad couldn't be counted on so I'm sure any solution on his end would've fallen on deaf ears or a shrug of the shoulders.  I was already a latchkey kid at that age (since 3rd grade) so I was used to being alone.  I had trouble getting my homework done and turned in on time to the  point for a semester or two, my teacher would write in a notebook what my assignments were, I had to take it home that night and show my mom and that they were complete and she'd initial it and I'd have to show the teacher in the morning.  (Thanks Ms. Leegrave for caring enough to do that!  I know you didn't have to.)  So that makes me wonder how I would've done with on my own administered learning.

I think the school would've had to have some kind of system where parents could drive to the school once a week and pick up lesson plans and "dittos" for the next week (or two) for us kids to do then turn them in in bulk when we did our next pick up for the following week's lesson plans.  I truly don't know how else they could've done it given the situation.  I also don't know how they would've handled kids who were falling behind or needed help.  Maybe have some be willing to be in classrooms alone and have a phone for students to call for help with questions because I know my mom wouldn't have been able to help me with some stuff just as many parents today get irritated with how kids are taught now.  (I will NEVER do common core math.  Makes ZERO sense and takes 3x as long from stuff I've seen.)

How do you think your school would've handled a pandemic when you were growing up to make sure you got your education?

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  1. I think initially it just would have closed. But eventually I could see them figuring something out. They might have done some outside classes at first and then possibly just leave all the windows open like they did in the 1918 pandemic. I do like the idea that I think Brazil had where they just started putting classes on public TV so kids could tune in that way. Not as interactive as Zoom but it doesn't require every kid to have a laptop or even phone/tablet so it's a lot more accessible.

  2. Wow, it's hard to imagine! I think my Mom would have had to pick up homework ditto paper handouts and dropped off homework weekly. Only 1 of us 5 kids would've done it. My Mom worked 2 jobs and my Dad worked. It would've been chaos and we would've fought all day long. If it happened to my family today, we wouldn't have internet or laptops or space to succeed. If my kids were school aged today, 1 son would do everything required, my other would not have ever logged in. My days would be hell because my boys fought like crazy growing up.
    I feel for parents and kids trying to deal with this today. Especially the kids in k-6. These to me are the most important years learning good study habits and socialization.
    Great question!

  3. I went to a fairly small elementary school, so I think they would have closed initially and then implemented the teacher's strategies for when chickenpox hit the school. Work for a week would be given to the parents and then handed in the next week. We had a lot of workbooks and each kid had their own text books. I would have been fine with that, but my brother would have needed a lot more oversight from my mum. She was only working part-time and casually at the hospital when we were elementary school aged, but my father worked shift work and the extra noise when he was trying to sleep for a night shift would have added extra stress to the house. My current partner works for the same employer as my father then so I know my father would have kept working through the pandemic.

    If I was in junior high or high school I think the teachers would have employed the same strategies, but there would just be more stops for my parents to pick up the assignments. My high school classes had quite a bit of independent learning included anyway, so I think the teachers would have just adapted that. The classes were quite structured about what materials needed to be covered, which would have made things easier for them. And that is proven to be true with this pandemic. I have a friend whose daughter has a very similar course load and her teachers kept them on track, better than anyone else I have heard about.

    The kids here are going back to school starting September 8th and the safety protocols are different depending on age. Masks are mandatory on all school buses for the duration of the ride. Masks are mandatory in all high school classes and all common areas. Masks are mandatory for students in elementary and junior high if they are not sitting at their desks. All gym classes are being held outside. No recess. Lunches will be held in the students classrooms. In elementary and junior high teachers will move between classrooms, students will only have one classroom for all subjects. Students will only be able to enter and exit the school from their designated door based on grade. They are hiring a lot more cleaning staff. And they haven't figured out bathroom protocols yet.

  4. The hubs and I were just talking about this because of the parents who have young children and what to do when they have to work. The age here for kids being allowed to be home alone is 14. We both about fell on the floor over that because we were both 7 years old when we were left home alone (hard to believe!). Back then, you just knew what to do and what not to do, and there'd be hell to pay if you got into trouble (like putting mom's bra, complete with padded cups, and her bright red lipstick on our black labrador and bringing him down the street to the park for a talent show). Heck, we didn't even lock our doors back then. It's SO different now and I can't imagine how parents with kids younger than 14 are supposed to have the kids at home when they need to be at work. It's heartbreaking to think of the stress they are under trying to navigate that. I honestly don't know what my school would have done back then because the only things we had to deal with in the 70's was lice and chicken pox. There was a real "laxness" to things back then, and I have to wonder how seriously not only the schools, but the parents, would have taken it. Kids kind of raised themselves in that time because it was becoming more common for both parents to be working, divorced parents more common, etc. I would have loved to have been home doing my work because I didn't handle the social pressures of school well. It was just kind of bred into you that if you had homework you did it, and you didn't raise a stink about it. I gave SO much credit to parents and teachers these days because there is so much for them to have to consider, technology to keep up on, etc. I can't imagine how hard lesson planning has to be for teachers during all this, especially with some remote and some in-person classes going on (and all during the same week!). They are planning two days in-person and 3 days at home for the elementary schools here and my guess is within two weeks max, that will go by the wayside and it'll be all remote learning. God bless the parents, teachers, and kids because all of them have legitimate struggles with this mess. For kids who need the extra help with comprehension, studying, etc., that has to be so scary in their young minds. No easy answers.

  5. I'm guessing the teachers would have done paper packets here too. I'm not sure they would have been so quick to close back then, but if they did, paper packets would have been the only option. I like your Mr's suggestion about lessons on public tv. Dad ran his business from the basement and mom worked part time most of my childhood so I would have been "encouraged" to do my work - I had friends though that had full time out of the house working parents that would have been responsible for younger sibling and had a hard time getting their own educational needs met.

    Today is the end of our second week back to school in person. I'm in a rural area and we are a small K-12 school and with the low numbers in our county the admin and school board decided to go back in person. I think in our case that is the right call. We have implemented things like one way hallways and all staff and kids over 10 must wear a mask except when they are outside or eating. It's been challenging to get them to wear the darn things - I feel like the mask police and the "follow the arrows" police in the hallway. I'm in a very politically conservative area so kids are getting told at home that masks are stupid and being required to wear them is a violation of their right. So then I have to fight that at school without making it a political battle b/c I'm not going to win that one. It's a state mandate, it's out of our hands, so wear your **** mask kid!

    All in all though, I hope we can stay in person because it's much better for kids (and for me too) to have that interaction and structure that we don't have online.


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