“That is something we had to learn, frankly, the hard way,” Harper said. “We want our teachers teaching.”
The transition for regular teachers would be hard enough in normal times. Now, they must adapt while, in many cases, acting as adjunct teachers for their own children.
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That is another element of online education that may not be obvious at first glance: Online schools require significant parent involvement, particularly with younger students. Parents at both the Connections and Cyber academies agree to act as, or find, “coaches” to work alongside their kids.
Bilal-Page knew this, of course, but she and her husband are now feeling it, too. They send their three young children, the youngest age 2, to regular schools (they are too young for Georgia Connections, which starts in fifth grade), but now must learn how to coach them. Dad has been coaching in math, and both parents have been watching videos to learn how to teach their youngest about shapes and colors. Outnumbered, they’ve had to juggle.
“He takes one girl and I take the other,” she said, “and the youngest kind of gets both of us.”