Mom, Dad, coach, teacher, food service, maintenance, custodian: when parents have to play all the positions on the school team

By Keri Wilkes, Ewing Township Education Association

It’s one thing to want to give our students the best we have as teachers but it’s incredibly difficult to be the best Mom or Dad as well as teacher to our own children simultaneously!

We have a first grader who adores his classroom teacher and has had an excellent education his first two years of school. He finds himself now being taught by my husband who runs an after-school art program which is on pause at the moment. We have kept our son’s school schedule pretty consistent to what it was, keeping the perks of snack time, specials, lunch time, and recess.

I am a high school Geometry teacher in the same district as my son. The sense of community is welcoming! My colleagues at the elementary level have not skipped a beat engaging my son in fun ways. My colleagues in the high school have been inundated with new ideas to nurture learning in the face of adversity.

The new normal is not optimal, but Ewing Township is making it work. Administration has been respectful of our time to plan and the community of parents has been very supportive with emails and social media shout-outs. The district has been lending out chrome books and printing out packets for those students without technology.

Teaching from home gives me even more appreciation for my son’s teachers and how much they nurture his intellect and emotions. I can see how this process is affecting my high school students who have been depressed, lonely, bored, and/or up all night. I am working continuously to do my best for them by researching new interfaces.

Fifteen years ago, a friend of mine refurbished an old school desk. The desk most likely was used during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s when influenza devastated families and communities. Seeing my son work at this desk connects me the past to the current situation.

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