In Defense of the Benefit of the Doubt
Written by Allison Barchichat
Allison is a seasoned high school math teacher and owner of East Cobb Tutoring Center, in the Marietta, GA area. She is the parent of one teenage and two preteen sons.
My boys are one week into virtual school, but I am about two months into talking about it with families. When it became clear that virtual learning was inevitable in our part of Georgia, parents panicked – I’m sure a sentiment that is echoed all over the country. In fact, I panicked too. How could I possibly continue to be a working parent and also navigate online classes along with my kids?
A few years into running my tutoring business, I realized that parents needed more than help for their kids. Worried parents also need reassurance that things can improve. Those needs have only magnified during the pandemic.
One thing I have heard over and over again from parents at this time is:
“How am I going to do this if I cannot teach my kids?”
Here is my response:
Your kids still have teachers. Those teachers are working so very hard to make this work for their students – and many of them are parents too, worried about how to deal with getting their own kids through this.
Your kids will still learn. The delivery is different, and let’s face it, the content might not be as robust, but your children will be taught to the best ability of their dedicated teachers.
Your kids will be the experts. Our children have grown up with the internet. I bet you even know someone who’s teenager offers “tech support.” The students, even the little ones, have already mastered webcams and microphones. Zoom is old hat. We are having a true Jetson’s moment, but our kids are not. School on the computer is something that was a cartoon joke when we were in school, but it’s not really a stretch for the students in the class of 2020 and beyond.
We have been asked to show grace, to be patient, to stay calm. But I challenge you to take it a step further. Give your teachers the benefit of the doubt and give the same to your kids. All parties want a successful school year – us worried parents, our steadfast teachers, and our unbelievably adaptable children.
Let’s hope that a year from now we look back on the start of this school year and say, “Huh. That wasn’t so bad.”
For more information about the author and East Cobb Tutoring Center, please visit www.eastcobbtutoringcenter.com