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21 Jan 2021

SUNrise: cj speaks… The new virtual co-teacher

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January 21, 2021 Category: Commentary Posted by:

Parenting today has become one of the most challenging jobs ever. 

Don’t get me wrong –parenting has always been crucial and is one of the most rewarding jobs that one can have ever hold in their lifetime, let alone doing it more than once with multiple children.  

 However, as parents and guardians, you have many decisions to make.  It is your choice to be the new virtual co-teacher of your child’s educational processes.  As a parent and virtual schoolteacher myself,  I see that there are so many disparities that our children have to deal with daily.  

So, some parents and guardians might ask me — what does that look like if I am choosing to become the new virtual co-teacher?  So glad that you asked that question.

1. Students have to be up, dressed and ready for school;

2. Students have to be able to log onto their Chromebooks in order to actively participate in school, let alone being ready and up;

3. Students are to be visible; we are in school, everybody.  When it comes down to all the excuses and the reasons why a student cannot be seen, I am here to say as a virtual schoolteacher, that’s null and void. You must be visible, as we are in school and that is a part of the requirement;

4. Students are required to participate.  I have students in my virtual Google Classroom that when they unmute, you can hear what is going on in their environment, but that student is still participating.  Then again, we get back into the relationships that the teachers develop with their students and the comfort zones, be it virtual or in the classroom, same applies; and

5. Students are required to complete their homework, class assignments, reports, or whatever the case may be. If the teacher is asking the child to complete their work, it should be done.  We are in school, everyone — even though it is virtual, we are still in school!  

So I am going to go back to the parents and guardians — the new virtual co-teachers —and say that you still have to help your children or your child. They have to be up, they have to be dressed, they have to be in class, on time, as best as possible.  

As a virtual schoolteacher, I became creative and I opened up a window of time to allow my students to all come for the first 30 minutes of our virtual Google Classroom day, called ‘chat and chew.’  During this time, it allows all of my students to log onto our virtual Google Classroom in a free manner as roll is taken at 9:00am, daily.  As a result of this process, my students are not marked absent and if they arrive after 9:00am, then they are marked tardy.  I have some students logging into their virtual Google Classroom at 10:35am waking up out of their beds. 

Come on parents and guardians –as the new virtual co-teacher, you must begin doing something better, as you are the model and initiator of your children’s or child’s future successes!  

Again, the responsibility of the parent and guardian, the new virtual co-teacher, to make sure that your child has a safe zone and a work area, a place upon which they are getting their education.  Too many children are not even logging onto their classes daily.  What is going to happen when school campuses reopen?  What do you expect your child to be doing?  Where do you expect your children or child to be placed?  Along with all that may have been lost in the real sense of an in-class educational environment.  

Parents and guardians — the new virtual co-teachers — you have to wake up, step up, and step out so that you can be involved in your children’s or child’s educational processes. 

Virtual learning did not give you a pass to this process!  Parents and guardians —the new virtual co-teachers — are a leg to this stool.  It takes three legs:  the parents and guardians, [the new virtual co-teachers], the child, and the teacher.  The order of those words does not really play a role, because all three are necessities for our collective successes.  

I will give kudos to  parents and guardians — the new virtual co-teachers —because this did not begin yesterday.  This has been going on for nearly a year, as March 13, 2020 was the last day that most children were in an actual classroom.  Most children have been learning virtually since that time, and sadly, a lot of those children have been MIA.  No clue as to where they are, no clue as to what they are doing.

Parents and guardians — the new virtual co-teachers — if you need help, you have to ask for it.  Pray about what to do. Ask your children’s teachers and school principal for assistance. In addition, most schools have a vice principal who can also be contacted for assistance. 

Use your resources, including resources in your community, in order to find what you need so that your children or child can have the key to the success called EDUCATION!….PEACE!

…cj is a poet, educator, motivational speaker, and inspirational writer who resides in Philadelphia. if you were moved by this piece, shoot cj a “like” or comment at: [email protected]!

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