By: Jenna Shelton
With the changes and busy schedule most college students have, suddenly not being able to go out and having to finish the semester by computer has been a huge adjustment for most. I am a homebody, a person who enjoys being home and would most times prefer being home than others, so I have, for the most part, liked being home more often. I am saving gas and mileage on my car, getting a prorated refund from my insurance carrier and can still do everything that I am required to do. I also have experience taking courses online, although I do prefer the in-person setting.
What I was not expecting, however, was how difficult it is to be a teacher. I have a 13-year-old daughter who sometimes struggles with certain lessons due to dyslexia. To be brutally honest, I have not done a math lesson with this child since she was in second grade. I know that sounds bad, do not get me wrong, I have helped her learn her multiplication and division tables and stuff like that, but if she wants me to help her with her math homework, it is a no go. She believes I should follow the way her teacher taught her to do, but when we would try it that way, the answer would be wrong. She would say, “Mom, I have to do it the way the teacher says or I’ll get in trouble,” to which I would always respond, “Tell the teacher the answer’s correct and that you know how to get to the correct answer and to call me if they have a problem.” The night would always end with one or both of us crying, thus the reason why she is required to finish her math homework during study hall, where she can get a teacher’s help if needed.
Now, I am expected to be her teacher in math, language arts, science, social studies, and all the other wonderful courses required in eighth grade. That alone is a full time job, literally, but I am expected to also keep up with my full-time student status and work part-time as well. She gets emails multiple times every day reminding her to check her online classroom and when a new assignment gets posted, but she has not gotten the support that she is entitled to in her IEP (individualized education plan).
At Lewis and Clark Community College (L&C), I feel fully supported by not only my instructors right now, but one’s that I have had in the past, along with other staff and faculty. While the campus is closed right now, almost everyone is still available via email or Zoom and can help with just about any problem I could encounter. I have had multiple people from L&C reach out to me, check on how I was doing and if I needed anything. My current teachers are loosening up the strictness on late assignments and are available to help me at the drop of a hat. I could not believe that I was getting more support and guidance than my middle schooler.
Even with the fact that L&C teachers and staff now are going through some of the same stuff that I am with having to not only do their jobs from home but teach their own children as well. They may be struggling as much as we all may be, so make sure to give them some slack considering they had only days to figure out how to convert their entire lesson plans over to online learning plans or how to make sure that the students currently enrolled are able to complete this semester without fault. Now that we are a few weeks into this work/school at home situation, and after asking and receiving help, I am grateful to say I am finally starting to find my footing. My suggestion to all of you is to reach out if you are struggling, no matter how big or small, there is someone that can help and they will not know to help unless you ask for it!