To The Mom Posting Angry Rants on Facebook

to the mom who is ranting on facebook 2

Last week, my school district made the switch to our official online schooling platform.

 

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew there would be hiccups along the way and kinks to work out.

 

On maybe the second or third day of “online school,” I saw a post on Facebook written by a parent in my school district.

 

Well, I was alerted to it’s existence…let’s put it like that.

 

I put my sleuthing abilities to the test to track this person down. (I knew that reading all of those Nancy Drew novels would come in handy someday!)

 

I needed to see the post for myself.

 

I don’t know this mom personally. Her child isn’t in my class, but she’s talking about my school district and my colleagues.

 

When I first read it, I was shaking with rage. I was trying to make a cheese quesadilla for dinner (no judgement please) and my hands were shaking so bad…I couldn’t even sprinkle the cheese. I had to sit down for a while to regroup.

 

I don’t feel quite right posting the screenshots that I took (even though she made her post public and others shared it). She later removed the post. I feel like you {the reader} need to understand what was in her post, though, to understand my response to her.

 

It went something like this:

She told all of the parents who are “schooling” at home that “THIS IS NOT HOMESCHOOLING!” (Yes, it was in all caps just like that.) She has kids who are homeschooled (well it’s special hybrid kind of homeschool…whatever that means) and one child who attends public school.

She said she was frustrated with “our public school,” but to the reader it sounds like she’s frustrated with public school teachers in general. From this point on, the post took on an accusatory tone with lots of “YOU” references. She doesn’t specify who “YOU” is, but it seems aimed at her child’s teacher…at all of us public school teachers. She is frustrated with the assignments and the lack of teaching.

She then goes on to say that she refuses to check her child’s work. That’s not her job. It’s the teacher’s job. She implies that teachers need to have Zoom sessions everyday to TEACH! She suggests that teachers should be sitting in front of their class like they would be at school (except virtually). She’s very reasonable in her demands. (Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?) Of course teachers don’t have to do this for SEVEN hours a day, she says. That would be too much, but teachers should spend a “couple of hours” a day in that manner.

She throws in a “Sorry not sorry!” as a special cherry on top. She adds that she does not check an ounce of her homeschooled kids’ work.

She also includes a special “Side Note” to parents. They’re doing an amazing job, but this isn’t homeschooling and no one would sign up for this!

 

 

If your blood pressure is rising after reading that, just imagine reading her actual post. I can post the screenshots and give her proper credit, but something tells me she probably wouldn’t like that.

 

 

 

 

 

To the woman who ranted on Facebook:

 

Here is what I want to say to you (and to all of the parents who agree with you)…

 

You are looking at this situation through a very limited lens. You are only considering your own experience.

 

We are a PUBLIC school system. We educate everyone, and we have to consider the circumstances of EVERYONE.

 

The governor announced the closure of all K-12 schools in the state on Thursday, March 12. We had ONE day to prepare to send kids home for three weeks without school. On that ONE day, Friday, March 13 by the way, we were lucky if half of our class even showed up to school.

 

And we did a darn good job.

 

THEN, we had to figure out how to get resources home to those students who did not come to school on that Friday.

 

I stayed late and scanned everything that I sent home. Then I emailed the files, a few at a time, to all of the parents on my email list.

 

We also had to figure out how to feed the students and the families who are on the free and reduced lunch program. When our district opened up time slots for teachers and other staff to volunteer, every single spot was filled within 5 minutes. That is not an exaggeration. That is how much the teachers and the staff of this school district CARE and want to help.

 

This is an ongoing thing…the passing out of food to those in need in our district.

 

We are PUBLIC education.

 

The needs of the families within our school district vary greatly.

 

Did you stop to consider the different socioeconomic factors at play here before you posted your rant?

 

The north side and the south side of our district are very different (even within those sides things are different). I have taught on both sides of the line, and let me tell you…it is like two different worlds.

 

I saw in the comments on your post (wish I had the foresight to take a screenshot of those too), that you were comparing our district to a wealthier district in a county to the west.

 

“Why weren’t we ready like they were ready?”

 

First of all, was ANYONE ready for a pandemic that would close schools down for the remainder of the school year? NO.

 

Yes, we had a millage that passed last spring. I’m not here to make excuses for how our district spends money, but these things do take time and planning.

 

This other school district that you spoke of already had Chromebooks ready to go for each student to take home. We did not.

 

In fact, we have hundreds (if not thousands) of families in our district without technology at home.

 

So for the first three weeks that we were “off,” we did not teach anything new.

 

There were many reasons for this:

 

We didn’t have the online platform set up to do so.

 

We have special education laws to consider. Laws that are complex. Laws that guarantee certain supports to be in place for those students who qualify. LEGALLY we couldn’t teach anything new. That’s gonna be different from a private school or online school.

 

We have families without internet access and without laptops or iPads or whatever.

 

Again, we are a PUBLIC school. Did you just want us to keep moving forward and leave all of those students behind?

 

We can’t, and we won’t.

 

We are charged with making education accessible to ALL.

 

My district is not perfect. Believe me, I know this first hand.

 

BUT

 

I do believe that they handled this situation with care. They didn’t make any snap decisions.

 

The circumstances of ALL of our students and families (and teachers) were taken into consideration when forming a plan to move forward.

 

YOU might be able to stay home with your kids all day. YOU might have enough technology in the house for each of your kids to use at one time + any adults who might need to work from home. YOU might have all of these things that make online learning accessible, but not everyone does.

 

 

So many people were working behind the scenes to contact families, to figure out who needed internet, who needed computers, etc.

 

When you have to use the internet to figure out who doesn’t HAVE the internet, that can be tricky.

 

When the governor announced that schools would be closed for the rest of the school year, our district (like all districts across the state) was allowed a certain time frame to come up with a plan to continue learning within the guidelines that the governor laid out. We had to get laptops and internet hot spots out to families. We had to get our teachers trained and set up on the new platform.

 

 

You’re right about one thing. This is not normal homeschooling. (Sounds like what you’re doing isn’t really classified as “normal homeschooling” either, but what do I know?)

 

This is CRISIS schooling. It is different. We’re all just doing our best here, and a little grace would go a long way. Public school teachers “didn’t sign up for this” either, but we’re rolling with the punches (like usual). We’re all working really hard for you and your kids even if it doesn’t appear that way to you.

 

 

Before you posted your rant about how teachers should be sitting on Zoom for a couple of hours per day teaching, did you put ANY thought AT ALL into how we would do that?

 

First of all, did you consider that these teachers might have families of their own to take care of? Young children? Multiple children who all need to be on a laptop for their own “crisis schooling”?

 

Or do you think we are robots? Seriously…

 

Did you know that we’re not allowed to use Zoom because of security issues? The alternatives aren’t great.

 

Did you know that even if I recorded my office hours, I wouldn’t be able to post the recording to Schoology because the file would be too big? I’m sure there’s a way to fix that, but I don’t know how. I have a lot of other stuff to worry about right now that takes priority over resizing video files.

 

On my first office hours call, I used a split screen of the PDF with the math problems AND MICROSOFT PAINT to try to teach my students.

 

We simply don’t have the resources right now, and we’re doing the best that we can.

 

Did you know that our current teacher laptops at the elementary level don’t even have webcams? So the teachers who are able to video call with their students are doing it on their own technology and their own dime.

 

So you expect teachers to sit on their computers with your kids for hours a day teaching them?

 

Ok, let’s just set that unrealistic expectation aside for a moment and consider something else.

 

What about the families who have multiple children and one laptop? Who gets to learn? What about the families who have parents working from home who need the laptop? What about all of the families where both parents are considered “essential workers,” and the parents aren’t home during the day?

 

See, you only thought about what YOU needed. Our job is to think about what is realistic and works best for EVERYONE.

 

From your post, it sounds like your public school child is in elementary school. You mean to tell me that you can’t sit down with your child (with the answer key by the way) and go over a few math problems every day?

 

I teach 4th grade. My hope is that parents are sitting down with their kids in the evening looking over their work for the day everyday (during a regular school year) anyway. Aren’t we supposed to be a team? I have 30 kids in a classroom. You have a smaller number of kids in your home. Where is YOUR responsibility for your child’s education?

 

My advice to you is to get off your high horse. Take a good look around your community. Understand that NOT everyone in this school district is as well off or as fortunate as you.

 

You don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. You don’t see the struggle. You don’t know how many hours your child’s teacher is putting in to get things ONTO Schoology, to organize the course, to collect assignments and provide feedback, to have office hours, to respond to emails and to Remind texts, to attend virtual staff meetings, to take care of their own children/families who are also home…

 

You set your post to public because you were hoping it would go viral. Misery loves company.

 

I can’t help but feel that you were hoping to start an angry mob of parents. To what end? What were you hoping to accomplish?

 

When we do go back to school, teachers are going to do what we do best. We’re going to meet the needs of our students where they are, and we’re going to bring them up to grade level. Everything is going to be ok.

 

 

Side Note: Teachers, you’re doing an amazing job! Especially if you’re dealing with parents like this one, please know that you are ENOUGH. You are doing your best. This is CRISIS schooling. Nothing about this is normal. We’re all gonna get through this and come out stronger.

 

Parents and students, YOU are also doing an amazing job. Just keep trying, and do your best. Don’t stress. Teachers are going to take care of you and your kids in the fall. Whatever you are able to do with your kids right now is ENOUGH.

 

If any parents of my kids are reading this, THANK YOU. Thank you for being amazing and kind and understanding during this time. Thank you for your support. I’m sure there have been many frustrating moments, but you guys are all handling it like champs. I am so grateful for you.

 

If you enjoy reading my blog posts, please consider supporting me by signing up for my email list 🙂

 

It also helps me TREMENDOUSLY when you pin my posts to Pinterest.

to the mom posting angry rants on facebook pin

Follow:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.