Teachers, Here's What Parents Want You to Know Right Now

One parent breaks down what she wants her kids' teachers to know about homeschooling, working from home, and more in this candid letter.

Updated on: April 1, 2020

teachers, this is what parents want you to know during COVID school closures

No one is prepared for the transition to homeschooling and remote learners. Both teachers and parents have been thrown into this without warning. Let’s work together to do what is best for our kids. Let’s tell each other what we need, and help each other however we can. Here is what parents need teachers to know:

We Don’t Know How to Explain Things Like You Do

Teachers are talented in breaking down concepts for kids to understand. Whether it’s natural or based on years of training (most likely it’s a combination of both), they may forget that many parents are struggling with this. Teachers, don’t just send us a list of what our kids need to know. Provide us with some tips on how to introduce these concepts, how to explain them, and how to check whether our kids are really getting it.

Many of Us Are Working From Home Full Time

Please remember that while sheltering in place, many parents are working full time without childcare. We might not be able to devote as much of our day to teaching our kids as they would get in the classroom. Not all jobs are flexible either, so we might not be available for every online meeting you have planned. We know that teachers balance classroom time with other tasks like grading and planning, so maybe you can understand how we feel. If there’s a video conference that we can’t view in real time, consider making the video available for us to catch up when needed.

Some of Us Have Multiple Kids

Not every family is a one-child family, so please keep in mind that many parents are juggling the academic loads of multiple kids. We would really appreciate it if you offered a mix of hands-on teaching for us to take on, and independent work that our kids can sit and be occupied with for a while. We will figure out a way to schedule out our children’s days so that we have time to work individually with each of them and address their unique needs. Just please help us keep the other ones busy so we can actually do this.

We Can’t Take Our Kids to the Park, But They Need to Get Their Energy Out

Alright teachers, we know you have rainy day plans, so throw those indoor active games at us please. Give us a PE lesson that we can do in our backyards. Require our kids to get an hour of exercise per day and count it towards their grades. We are going insane and so are our kids--and we know you get it. So please integrate movement into your requirements whenever possible!

We Don’t Know All the Math

This one is embarrassing but it’s time for parents to come clean--for many of us, fractions are a little fuzzy. Mathematics must be a use it or lose it thing because a lot of this looks unfamiliar. And now that you’re using the Common Core Standards, it’s not like a little practice will jog our memories. This is new to us, so please, just tell us how to do it and understand that we might have questions.

Our Kids Need Downtime, and So Do We

Imagine that the school bell never rang and the kids never went home. That’s a little bit how it feels for us suddenly homeschooling. Plus, we also don’t know what we’re doing. We are overwhelmed and we need rest time just as much as our kids. We are asking you to understand that and not overburden us or our kids. We want what is best for them just as much as you do, so we promise, we are not asking this out of laziness. We just need you to be reasonable and allow for some rest time throughout our days.

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