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Teaching during a pandemic: Drive-bys, 2 a.m. texts and Zoom therapy

August 2, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

9 year old student Jordan in his bedroom in front of his laptops during distance virtual school learning amid Coronavirus Pandemic in Broward County, Florida Public Schools. Florida began their experience with online virtual distance learning, amid the growing coronavirus pandemic on March 31, 2020 in Miramar, Florida. (Photo by JL/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

The average person who doesn't have kids in school may not realize that being a teacher during a pandemic is like being a firefighter: Even when you're sleeping, you might be awakened and called into duty. Monique Davis is no different.

(CNN)The average person who doesn't have kids in school may not realize that being a teacher during a pandemic is like being a firefighter: Even when you're sleeping, you might be awakened and called into duty.

Kamau: Monique, I feel like I've gotta call you Ms. Davis, cause you're a teacher and I will give you your respect.

Kamau: What was it like to be a teacher in the midst of this?

It started off like schools were going to be closed for maybe a week or so, and then it got extended, and then eventually we all realized this was going through at least the end of the school year.

Kamau: You're sort of ruining that idea that teachers have great hours: get there at eight o'clock in the morning; work till three; and then they go home and put their feet up.

I felt for a while like I was burning the candle at both ends, because I had to be up during the day during my contractual school hours, but then my kids were teenagers and a lot of them were working so they weren't getting off until 10 o'clock, 11 o'clock at night.

So I started working later and later; I had one day where it was one, two o'clock in the morning and I'm just texting with three or four different kids.

Kamau: And just to be clear, you can't go to the school and say, "I worked some extra hours this week. "

Monique: It was way more of: when the kids are ready, when the kids need me, that's when I'm available.

Kamau: I know that the school you're teaching at, I would imagine that some of the students don't have the technology they need to keep up, or the Internet access.

Kamau: But the district did not have the resources to just give every kid a computer?

Kamau: Is it frustrating to feel like the problems of how we fund schools, and the divide between public schools in the inner city and public schools in the suburbs, is just exacerbated in the midst of this pandemic?

One of the things me and my wife ran into as parents of kids who are doing distance learning is that it feels like there's pressure to keep the kids on track academically.

A lot of times on my Zoom calls with my kids, we just talked about what was going on in their lives, what they were doing, and how their siblings were getting on their nerves, or how some of them were looking for jobs, or they were having birthdays that they weren't going to be able to celebrate.

Kamau: And for kids who haven't been able to keep up with the schoolwork, that summertime regression is going to be even more profound.

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