Denver, Colorado … I know from personal experience that you are probably getting inundated with information on the coronavirus and the resulting consequences. Many of you with children are having a complete paradigm shift as you assume the role of mentor/teacher for your own children. This is both a blessing and a challenge.

Our Rocky Mountain Conference school teachers have made fantastic efforts to continue with quality education for your children, spending many hours in learning best practices for distance learning and incorporating them into their plans for your children.

Thank you for your continued patience and encouragement as we strive to meet the needs of God’s children in this unique time. Please know that we are doing our very best to assure that your child has optimum opportunity for continued learning at their level. And if you are experiencing some struggles as teacher/mom or teacher/dad, that is okay. You are not alone, and I trust that a few comments from other parents will not only bring you courage but also, perhaps, a smile to your face. From children begging to return to school, to parents admitting they aren’t able to figure out their child’s homework, to knowing how to fill all the hours of the day, to just going stir-crazy, these are the issues parents are facing.

Let me share a few comments that have made the rounds on social media concerning this forced education at home. They have been posted about parents temporarily assuming the role of teacher for their own children.

  • According to one child, homeschooling has not been “going good” from day one. In a post uploaded to Facebook, a mom shared a screenshot of her son’s journal entry from their first day of homeschooling: “It is not going good. My mom’s getting stressed out. My mom is really getting confused,” the eight-year-old student wrote. “We took a break so my mom can figure this stuff out and I’m telling you it is not going good.”
  • I have been homeschooling a 6-year old and an 8-year old for one hour and 11 minutes. Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year, or a week.
  • Forty-seven minutes into homeschooling my child while working from home and I’m about to hit the streets demanding teachers be paid a million dollars per year.
  • Yes, I love teachers and respect them sooooo much more–after just one day.
  • My 8-year old is covered in paint and my 17-year old is not speaking to me because this pandemic is ruining her social life and it is obviously my fault.
  • Homeschooling is going well–one student suspended for fighting and one teacher (me) fired for wanting to drink on the job. Easy peasy.
  • My Confident Friend A Week Ago: “I have a schedule. My kids will stay on schedule and their day is very structured with assignments and activities.”
    My Confident Friend Today: “I gave up. Every day is movie day for homeschooling. As long as they’re quiet.”
  • The struggle was enough to prompt one father who has been attempting homeschooling to tweet: “Anyone else think teachers should all earn about $500,000 a year?”
  • Others have also suggested that teachers deserve more money, with some suggesting that their salaries should be somewhere in the $1 million-a-year or higher range for their patience.
  • “If this has taught me anything, it’s that teachers deserve a raise,” one person tweeted.
  • Another said: “Been homeschooling the kids since 9:00am. It’s 9:08 a.m. and I’m starting to think teachers deserve l-o-n-g holidays.”

Apostle Paul in his Letter to the Philippians (4:13) promises that you can “do all things through Christ who gives me strength”.  May you use this time of social distancing and home isolation to do some fun things with your children and perhaps even teach them some things that have, perhaps, been lost in our society. Here are a few ideas: how to make bread, how to sew on a button, how to plant a garden, how to make a card for a shut-in, how to learn about family history?

In the Letter to Romans (8:28) we are also told that “all things work together for good to them that love the Lord.”  Hard to admit, but maybe this pandemic time just might be an opportunity for you and your child to make memories that will last a lifetime and beyond.  Courage to each one!

Lonnie Hetterle, RMC Education Superintendent; photo by Marsha Bartulec