Article and Photography by Erika Smith | Owl Staff

Before the pandemic, I had never thought about becoming a teacher, but look how a virus can change the whole world; schools are closing, businesses are on lockdown, and families are being asked to please stay in. The coronavirus has transformed my relationship with my brilliant 11-year-old son; now I must home school him for the first time. Me, Ms. Smith, his teacher for the next four weeks.

Education Week reports, “at least 98,000 public schools and at least 34,000 private schools in the U.S., educating “almost 50.8 million public school students and 5.8 million private school students.” Now, every parent in the world is learning how teachers handle their children in school.

I must put in place structure like the school have and making him feel like he is in school. I will be preparing his schedule, plan his day as well as completing my own online classes.

My main concern will be my patience toward teaching my son for four hours a day. Am I prepared to do this? Will he agitate me early or can I hold out? This will be an experience for the both of us

Rita Templeton explains that “kids will not necessarily be able to go into ‘homeschool mode’ easily.” For this reason, she advises parents to “be kind to yourselves and them—doing more screen time, less structured activities are more than fair.”

J. Allen Weston, executive director of the National Home School Association in Denver reminds parents that “nobody knows your kids better than you do.” He is just one of the resources available to parents who are looking for assistance with their transition into homeschooling.

With the COVID-19 pandemic at large, learning at home is a treat. This way my son knows he is safe at home, and I know he safe as well. Now is the time we get to work close together and show our skills. We have an opportunity to prove that we can adapt in any situation.

The homeschooling assignments may not count toward class credit but at least it opens a door for me to see that I will be able to do whatever it takes for my son to get his education. Parents around the world also have an opportunity to see how difficult managing a classroom is. For one thing, the students’ attitudes can flare up! Parents will get to see just how good or bad their children act in school.

With any luck, this will convince more parents to work with their child’s teacher and attend parent-teacher conferences as often as possible. Hopefully this homeschooling experience can show people how teachers are so underpaid for what they do.

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