My Experience with Leading Schools and Remote Learning as a Working Mother

We’re entering week 5 of remote learning and week I can’t keep count of working from home. Whew! What a rollercoaster ride it has been and continues to be being a mother with two children in both elementary and secondary while working full time from home.

There are days when all is going as planned and days when the internet is slow, someone forgets to submit their assignment by 11:59 pm, and we have occasional tears from the youngest learner.

I feel like my arms are stretched thin. While I’m working and connecting with leaders I support, I have to make sure everyone is function on this end. I often stop to provide a deeper teach in concepts my kids have trouble with. I have found that with this new normal, I was spending more hours working in my office than before. So during week two, we made some changes. After all, I thought, I’ve been a principal with over 900 small children and a staff of 90, I could surely create systems to help my home navigate this time until the kids go back to face to face in October.

Here’s what changed:

  1. Create safe and sound areas for both kids | The kids were in the same room remote learning after my daughter told me I was talking too loud during my meetings after two days of sharing the office. My son is taking Spanish and needed to talk with his teacher regularly, so now both have their own areas. One is at the homework corner while the other has taken over the dining room.

  2. Keep the routine as we did with face to face learning | The kids pick out their outfits for the week and still participate in social distancing extracurricular activities. My son tends to his livestock and daughter has started back with dance. This has helped them fulfill their purposes outside of the house and relieve the demands of remote learning. This also allows hubby and I some time to catch up with each other on these days.

  3. Keep in contact with teachers and utilize their remote learning hours | My son has several teachers so I subscribe to his Google Classroom notices that are sent to me in email as we talk daily about his assignments and needs. My daughter, on the other hand, meets with her teachers and I do not mind asking questions to assist her and providing feedback that helps.

  4. Check in with children all day | checking in helps me clarify any misconceptions that they have, teach as needed, and try to troubleshoot any technological issues they may have. I keep an open policy with my employer about what is going on and also let my school leaders know what is taking place behind the scenes. We are all in this together!

  5. Meal planning | At the beginning of the pandemic and during the summer, I had gotten away from meal planning. I now plan on Sundays and write the weekly menu on our calendar in the kitchen. This also helps with lowering my grocery costs.

  6. Continue to create time for us to spend as a family | no electronics, just family. This is important to me as it keep us closer.

2020 may have provided us with a few challenges. It will surely be a year to remember. We will continue to take it each day and doing what’s best for our home and family. It’s reminded me to practice grace, flexibility, and realistic expectations that fit our needs. I hope you are practicing these things, too.

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