Features Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 8

Teachers Teaching More than Their Students

Graphic by Zeyada Negasi

As well as many others, teachers have little ones too. Teaching your own students and taking care of and teaching your own children is definitely a handful. Many teachers at our very own school go through teaching more than just their students every day. Ms. Herring teaches weights and yoga and has three kids at home and soon to be four in August. : Hunter, (5), Remmi (4), Beau (1) Herring’s oldest son, Hunter is in kindergarten, “He zooms with his class Monday through Friday…They do games or story time. His teacher sends me science, math, and reading/writing curriculum and I work with him on that during the week,” said Herring, “It’s wildly different yet beautiful! I’m getting time with them that I would never have been given. I’m getting to see how smart and curious they all are! Each of them are so different but together they help each other so much, it’s really fun to just sit back and watch sometimes. They aren’t normally around each other this much so they are learning how to have alone time too.” Although it is nice to be able to spend this time with her family Herring says, “I miss my students. I love being a mom and I’m extremely grateful for this time  but I miss the connection I get to make with my students each day. Zoom is great but it lacks human connection and energy and all that other yoga stuff I believe in.” Ms. Dave, an English 2 and 4 teacher has a son similar to Ms. Herring. Niam is six years old and is in Kindergarten and has around five or six assignments each day for writing, math, science, and reading. Although it has been nice to spend quality time with her family, Dave said, “My son still misses his friends and teachers. He loves me, but he also tolerates me and vice versa!  He is too young to understand how the virus has changed our lives.  However, the other challenging part of this is that our family is very social — we go out every weekend and meet up with our friends and their children and we miss that interaction. It’s unhealthy to isolate yourself no matter what your family situation!” Instead of looking negatively upon our quarantine status, Dave said, “Despite all my ‘challenges’, I always try and keep perspective because there are many folks in this country who are struggling to put the next meal on the table; or have lost their jobs; or have fallen ill with Covid-19.  I consider my family and I lucky to be alive and thriving the best we can.” Mr. Speir teaches AP Human Geography, AP U.S. History and U.S. History and has two little ones, Theo (3) and Viven (2).  “I love spending more time with them but they make it very difficult to work from home. Both kids are pretty young so either my wife or I need to be available to meet their needs. For example, Vivien is working on potty training and will periodically jump up and start running to the toilet saying “pee pee now!”” said Speir, “The biggest problem has been coordinating when my wife and I are going to work. She has a full time job and her employer expects her to be available to attend zoom meets and be fully attentive during certain times. The school district expects teachers to have their zoom classes during regular class time and this was challenging because my wife was almost always supposed to be in a meeting at the same time. This left one of us in a position where we would need to run away from the zoom to break up a fight or help somebody go potty etc.” Unlike Mr. Speir and Ms. Herring, Mr. Orozco, an Algebra 1 and 2 teacher is still able to send his 10 month old Maxino to daycare, “We are very lucky to be able to send him to daycare still, as they were deemed essential enough to stay open; they only have two other children, so we feel comfortable with the exposure he may or may not get. Working would be near impossible if Max was home. He needs our attention every waking moment.” Although Maxino still goes to daycare, being at home has given Orozco the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with his son, “I’ve gotten to watch him take his first steps!” said Orozco. Moments like these would never be able to happen without quarantine, and thanks to shelter in place we are all getting a few extra special moments.