Parents Ready for Teaching Roles at Home

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Lauren Carmody had a few new visitors at work Monday. Her three children, Conner, Lily and Brooklyn, were all on their first day home from Cheshire Schools.

“Talking to them about the coronavirus is scary for them, so we try to keep it in the simplest terms we can,” said Carmody.

Lauren said they’re taking it slowly. Right now they have some anxiety about being out of school and away from friends, so she’s keeping them active.

“My kids are enjoying being outside and in the yard, and we’re becoming a little bit more creative about our parenting.”

A few days to relax before the distance learning starts. It’s something parents across the state are preparing for: becoming teachers at home.

“We’ve seen some suggested scheduling for those days and I look at it and it’s daunting,” said Carmody. “I look at it and I’m like this means I can’t work or there’s pockets of work.”  

She’s working on a balance many families will face as we head into the unknown of education.

“Nothing like this before, it’s all uncharted territory,” said David Cicarella, president of the New Haven Federation of Teachers.

Cicarella told NBC Connecticut teachers have prepared two-week packets of schoolwork for each student in New Haven.

“The teachers have been wonderful. They wait for directions, they ask clarifying questions,” he said.  “We have so many complex issues because we’re such a large district here in Connecticut. That’s why the superintendent wants to get this done as quickly as possible, but we’re only in day two of the shutdown.”

He says they should have an answer in the next day or so. He said the New Haven School Board and the Department of Education will work out important details in the next few days. The two will determine things like how coursework will be counted, and how to be sure ESL students, students with Individual Education Plans, and those with limited internet access will be covered.

Although unprecedented, he said teachers are prepared to work through this new setup.

“We’re kind of used to working through things and things changing on the fly for us,” said Cicarella.

For Lauren, she said she’s taking it one day at a time. Without knowing for sure if classes will resume at the end of March, she’s focusing on the next two weeks.

“I know I should be thinking ahead, but right now we don’t know what’s going to happen so it’s hard to plan for something we don’t know about quite yet.”

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