This Is Not Sustainable. Parents, It Is Time To Act.

This Is Not Sustainable, 2020.
How My Son Feels About Remote Learning, as Drawn During Online Math Class, 2020
  1. Ask that your child’s school stop grading and taking attendance. And opt your child out of all standardized testing this year. (For more parent resources, check out this Toolkit by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood). It is outrageous that schools expect children to be tested under these circumstances (well, any circumstances really, but that’s for a different article).
  2. Ask the schools to prioritize child-directed, project-based learning. We want our children to be engaged and interested; let them select topics to focus on, then build curricular content around that.
  3. We want our children to love learning. Ask the teachers how you can support them to reinvigorate that love of learning and how you can help nurture their curiosity. The literal future of our country depends on it.
  4. Focus on audio-based learning options (like podcasts, audiobooks, and music) as it is the only truly safe form of digital technology (companies like Ellodee are on to this). Demand physical textbooks and materials. If a school district can distribute laptops, they should be able to distribute books from the school libraries empty of children but full of books.
  5. Stop the rat race. Don’t worry about grades. Nothing is normal. This is NOT about achievement. This is about doing what is best for your kids. If your kids are miserable, stop fighting it. Advocate for their mental health. They WILL NOT LEARN ANYWAY if they are unhappy and stressed.
  6. Use your damn voice. Stop complaining about things on social media and start writing letters to your principals and superintendents and state leaders. Testify at your school board meetings. They’re all virtual now so it is easier to “attend.” It does make a difference, and at the very least you are putting your experience into a public record. Finally, demand state legislators change the required minutes of instruction.
  7. Find like-minded parents who share your concerns and support each other. If your kid is thriving in remote learning, that’s wonderful. You still can use your voice to help all the others who aren’t thriving. Support your teachers, but demand better for everyone. They often can’t raise their own voices because they’re afraid of losing their jobs. So you have to use yours. If you have privilege, use it for good.
  8. Of course, if we really want to make an impact, it may be time for a collective parent strike. Refuse to log in. If you and your kid are already miserable and unable to get work done, this will be no more difficult than what you’re already doing, and if we join together, we can send a strong message. Actions speak louder than words.
What Really Matters, 2020

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Emily is a speaker, writer, consultant, and parent of two. A former middle school teacher, she is now the founder and owner of The Screentime Consultant.

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Emily Cherkin

Emily Cherkin

Emily is a speaker, writer, consultant, and parent of two. A former middle school teacher, she is now the founder and owner of The Screentime Consultant.

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