New Episode! Why Middle School Is So Tricky with Jessica Speer
May 10, 2022

How The Pandemic Affected Our Kid's Education


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In this week’s episode of Real Life Momz, we discuss the effects of the pandemic on our children’s education We are joined by two wonderful elementary school teachers and fellow podcasters, Julie and Millie Both moms themselves they are the co-hosts of the fabulous, This Is Not For You. From the perspective of teachers, we discuss their observations within the classroom setting. We discuss the challenges and missed milestones within routine child development and social interactions. A fascinating conversation that I know you’ll enjoy. For further resources, please visit our Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/reallifemomz/. And don't forget to follow Real Life Momz, so you don't miss an episode. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Transcript

Welcome to Real Life Momz. I'm your host, Lisa Foster Real Life Momz is a podcast that is all about real conversations with real life issues that parents deal with every day. Our mission is to connect moms by talking about these topics and to continue these conversations through our Real Life Momz facebook group where we would love for you to become part of our community. This week I invited two moms, Julie and Millie, who are also educators, and they co-host their own podcast, This Is Not For You, to help discuss how our children's education has been affected by the pandemic.

 

Hi Millie. Hi Julie. Welcome to Real Life Momz Hi, thanks so much for having us. Oh my gosh. I'm so excited to have you here. I actually wanted to talk about this topic forever. Um, and you guys being teachers and moms, you're like perfect. So our topic today is education and how the pandemic affects our kids, academic and also social-emotional development. So we have Millie who you have a little one, one year old who has a bedtime, so we gotta get, we gotta get rolling here. Millie, you're also a teacher, and what grade do you teach? I teach third-grade reading and social studies. Elementary school, you're in it. Mm-hmm.  Yeah, for seven years.  And then Julie, you're also a mom and you have a five-year-old, right? I do. Yes. And he's in pre-K, right? Yeah. So you're an assistant teacher? I am. Yeah. So, I have two first-grade classrooms and two second-grade classrooms that I bounce between. So I do, um, their small group and just help out with, um, any extra pulling out and helping them dive deep into any problems they have.

Yeah. That I think that's so helpful for the teachers, and for the kids. Right. And here's a fun fact for everyone listening is that you guys co-host your own podcast, right? We do. Yes. This Is Not For You, which I did listen to today, yesterday on my drive. Really fun. Thanks.

 But now going back to you guys are in this school, so I feel like you're really in this academic piece, you know, going back to school this year,  you guys, um, all went back in person, this was like a pretty new normal year. Is that right? Yes. So going back into this new normal year with having such, not a new and not a normal year, I guess in the past year what were you seeing in the classroom?  Well, for me, I definitely saw gaps when we went into quarantine, in March of 2020, and didn't return until August of 2020. I definitely saw learning gaps. Um, I think students that had not as much access to parent involvement at home really fell in the cracks and did not, you know, didn't have access to a schedule routine at home as they did at school. So they didn't show up for online learning during the quarantine phase. Oh. So that really pushed them back, you know, I would say almost a whole year would push them back to the beginning of third grade, even though we were in the middle of third grade for those students, but they.

Weren't even showing up. And we couldn't fail anyone during this time either. Yeah. That makes sense.

We pushed them forward, which did not help them.

Okay. So did you see then a divide in your actual students, that did show up online? Like, were they where they should be by the end of third grade? The ones that were actually coming?

Yeah. I do feel that we take a beginning, middle end of the year test to see growth. And you know, those tests for those students did show that they are on grade level to be moved up to fourth grade for me, for my students anyways, that's what I saw.

Great. But the students then that weren't, which is like half your class  were not. So they are now, going into the next year or your incoming students, right. That were in second grade now going to third grade, you're seeing that within your classroom itself. Oh, wow. And how are you, actually dealing with that, that divide? 

It is, it is tough. Like this is the first year I've had third graders, not knowing letter sounds, not knowing some letters of the alphabet. Um, I've never experienced that low, there is a big of a gap, two, three year gap coming into third grade because of all the missed learning. So that's a huge gap. Yeah. So for my school, we're a charter school, uh, public free charter school. And, you know, they did add teachers, uh, resource teachers, teacher assistants, to help with that, to pull those students in, to help fill in those gaps.

But even with the additional small group support they're they should not be promoted to fourth grade. I don't feel it would benefit them. There's so many, like it's a disservice to them. Yeah. I mean, for my students that I see, like there's two or three students that I feel should not be promoted to fourth grade, just because of how much learning gap would, they would just be further and further behind in fourth grade.

So even though they're back in school, they're really not, they're still not catching up. Yes. Wow. 

Julie,  I'm assuming you're at the other the end, that's kind of pulling these kids out to help them.

Yeah.

So what does that look like?

So I, um, I do a lot of just, you know, they break the kids into small groups depending on their, um, reading level and all, so each time you're doing the same activity, you have to differentiate it a little bit, make it a little bit more challenging for the ones that are higher, make it a bit more in depth and involved and really hands on for the lower ones. And, um, something that I've really noticed, um, is especially the kids that did do home learning, uh, more so, or the ones that were in,  learning academies too, before this, which is for the most part, in the regular school system also considered homeschooling.

Okay, so a lot of the times we've noticed that those children are not very much self-motivated, you have to really sit on them and keep nagging at them, which feels terrible.

And it wastes a lot of time because they just cannot get it done on their own because they're used to very small class sizes or just being home and mom will sit there and say, keep getting this done until it's done. And, teachers can't have that in the classroom. Um, and I don't know if you've noticed this Millie, but I've also noticed them, um, a lot of times there's gaps with, problem-solving and critical thinking. Yeah, definitely. And also resilience students giving up way too quickly, you know, not wanting to try, you know, think a little bit harder about a problem just giving up completely or outside of the box.

Yeah. Definitely like they're, you know, going to like, not just, you know, academic, but also emotional health, you know, social health. I don't, I think there's, you know, definite damage there also because of the pandemic, you know, and our school has really tried to dedicate, you know, every two months, a whole day of social, emotional health awareness, it's called growing hearts day at our school. And the whole day, all the teachers had to make lesson plans on how to become more resilient or how to be, you know, bullying, was one theme, you know, and being kind.

And we really try to focus on not just their academics, but also their hearts, and their feelings too.

Um, so was this program developed since the pandemic or? Oh, it was.

Yeah. We never did anything like this before. Yeah. So.

across the board, you're just seeing like kids giving up, having a little bit harder problem solve and so you're doing this kind of work. Okay.

I feel like a therapist, you know, like, and I'm not qualified for that, you know, like way out of my comfort zone to be teaching about how to recognize their feelings and like how to regulate their feelings and, and all that. So it was a learning curve for me as a teacher.

Yeah. So give me if you don't mind, give me an example, like what you said, what would you see in this realm that's happening?

Oh, well, I definitely have seen like my little girls in my class, they would just like, just full-on cry, like out of a drop of a hat. It would just cry. Like someone pinched them really hard, but it was just because they didn't get a problem. Right. You know, and they immediately shut down. I'm stupid. I can't learn, you know, and that goes into the growth mindset and challenges make us smarter. We try to teach that to them, but you know, I've never really dealt with total meltdowns because they didn't get a problem.

Right. Or a problem was too hard.

Right. So it's interesting. So I'm kind of flashing back a little bit. So you're third grade and really around second grade-ish first and second. So these are real core, um, times in kids' lives to learn those fundamentals of how to really deal with being on their own in school. And they were actually home during this time, if we think back, right. Yes.

That is what happens. So it's almost like, you know, they don't have their parents as their cheerleaders right. At school. So now they're being dumped into those not higher grades. I mean, but they're like third grade. Right, where they're supposed to be able to totally function and, and feel confident enough that if they get a problem wrong, it's not the end of the world. Right. But, they actually missed all that time of learning smaller steps, but now it's like this, they have to tolerate like really jumping into it. 

Yeah. For the boys, I've seen not, not so much emotional, like crying but definitely more aggressive behavior.  Um, there are definitely more fights between our boys. Um, you know, there are issues of bullying more than I've seen in the past. So there's, you know, that's the other spectrum too, trying to relate to other kids as you said. Yeah. Cause they weren't around them.

Now, do you think that's all because we weren't around them, or is it because there are lots going on in the world? That's not so nice either. 

That's definitely a factor. It could have been, you know, they get more time on, you know, their tablets or computers. But then they're also looking at TikTok, cuz I know there's a couple of first graders for me that they're, um, they're, they're acting more like, uh, 15-year-olds because they emulate these TikTok people and um, YouTube, they wanna be like them and people on YouTube. And that that's not to say that social media is terrible or anything, but I mean, it, it's not necessarily something you want your first, second, third grader's hands on when they should be diving more into their, their studies.

And I don't think this is happening just at the elementary school level, just so you know, cause I have a middle schooler and a high school and I do think even, you know, even those core years of independence, even more or as they get into those higher level grades, I know one of my conferences with one of my kids, you know, the teacher's like, wow, they're still so sweet. It was a little bit of a different aspect because they're still so sweet, innocent. It was middle school. And by then they start to change normally as they go to seventh, eighth grade, she's like, oh the, the class is still so sweet and they still are listening and wanna hear it because they're actually, I think developmentally immature, like they still are sixth graders that are kind of new to the school, even though they're not sixth graders anymore, you know,.

Good point. Yeah.  I guess it can go both ways, yeah. Right. Itś interesting and things that I think about with my daughter who would be much more independent she's in high school and, you know, things that like, you know, honestly I didn't have her ride public transportation, you know, that would have been a core time where transitioning from, you know, middle school to high school to be a lot more independent over those summers and you know, get around more independently Um, but because you know, I didn't wanna really shove on public transportation at the time.

And so she was like delayed in knowing how to even do it. Now I feel like, how did  she get to 10th grade and  not comfortable doing certain things. Oh wow. Cause we missed like two years, you know?

Yeah. Right.

So yeah. So it really does affect them. I, I feel.

Right. Yeah. I have a, um, a first grader, she, we think she has like some just core anxiety issues, but um, the fact that she hasn't been in school since, oh, I guess for first grade it would be pre-K then, so this would've been the first year, fully back and uh, so you know, first graders have missed pretty much all of kindergarten being in the classroom and she will come up during, um, recess on the playground. Well, I wanna play with her and we say, okay, well go play with her.

Well, she doesn't wanna play what I wanna play. Oh, okay. Well, go ask her what she's playing to ask her to teach you how to play it. And they're so friendly. They're not shutting her out. She just doesn't know how to interact with them, or how to tell them what she wants.

Yeah.

So, I think she missed a big part of the fundamental blocks of just being able to socialize with people. She sees a new person come into the room and she freezes up and she can't even finish her work. So yeah.

Well, and that brings me to actually a question of, do you think there, there has been a shift in the importance of being more social in school versus concentrating on the academic piece? I would definitely say so. Yeah. Our school, you know, has adopted father-daughter dances now and carnivals, like we never did that kind of fun stuff before and I love it. I think it's great, you know, kid families out there, you know, meeting other families and connecting, you know, so that's one positive thing. I think the pandemic brought out the people that we need, social socialization and you know, the community it's sad that it took a pandemic to do.

I know, I was like, why did your school not have carnivals?  I know. Right. Those are so fun. I know. But yeah, I think about that, you know, as well. Um, you know, my, my son's a little bit more reserved and usually, our conferences with his school go like this. Um, oh, well, he's pretty quiet in, but you know, he's a nice kid and good student and, and that's about all we get. Right. But for the first time I got a conference that was not as good and was kind of like, well, he's talking to this boy in class, kind of all the, all the time to kind of get a little disturb, you know, they start the class a little bit.

And my only reaction, and I did tell the teacher of this. So you can tell me how you feel about this after.

Okay. But I was kinda like, yay. Oh my God, my kid is getting in trouble and he's having a good time. And he's actually having fun with a friend in class. Are you kidding me? Like, I almost was like, and I told her, I was like, I have a hard time with this because he is the kid that's gonna do everything. Right. And he is a good kid. And with everything that's been going on, like, I'm happy to hear he is having a good time. 

Yeah. It sounds like he's getting out of his shell. That's really, I would be excited about that too. Yeah.

Right. And with the pandemic yeah. Even better. Right.

I would just stress the importance of the appropriate term. Right.

When to.

Talk with your friend and play with your friend. Maybe not when your teacher's teaching.

Probably not. I hear what you're saying, but in all the other classes is pretty quiet, so yeah. Yeah. But you're right. You.

Should invite that friend over though. You should, you know, encourage that. Definitely foster. Yeah.

Yeah. So we, well, I did get the teacher to tell me that she wasn't gonna separate the kids. Cause I thought it was so good that he was socializing with somebody. Yes. Um, but they are no longer to do anything academically together, which is totally fine, fine with that. But.

That's awesome of the teacher to recognize how important that is for him. That relationship is so important to his well-being. So that's great that she's like, yeah, I wanna keep them together know.

Right. And I think honestly, if it wasn't if it was before the pandemic, he would've removed long ago you know what I'm saying?  I do think teachers are feeling a little bit and you can talk to this cuz you're a teacher and I am not. Um, but I want to get those as kids more socialized and they do feel bad about how much they have missed. I think they are more accommodating to that kind of stuff. Are.

you are more accommodating, do you think?

Well, um, I definitely have grouped my kids now, like before, or we were not grouped. Um, I put the kids in groups of four in my room. Um, I definitely think that's better for their education when they can collaborate with each other and talk about what they're learning about and help each other on their assignment. So yeah. I think I've definitely changed a bit from, 

You made it more social within the class you're working together and that's probably amazing because it sounds like they need work on that to work together. Right. So that's a good way of solving that problem.

I know. Um, the one first teacher that, uh, I work with, she basically treats her classroom like a family. So like the, the kids treat each other like brothers and sisters and it's really adorable. But the other first grade teacher just, you know, she's very strict on them and very harsh. I don't think either one changed their styles since pandemic and uh, probably one of them definitely should have. But.

So some teachers are just stuck in their ways. Yeah. So that, that's an unfortunate side of things. But okay.

General they're  willing to be a bit more lenient on things taking into consideration that.Yeah. I think it's interesting cuz I agree some of these somewhat from what my kids are saying in school, um, and like I said, they're older, so they're much more vocal about it, it does feel like there's a little bit of a feeling that they need to catch up and uh, certain topics, uh, in their education, it is being rushed a little bit. Like they're feel like, and granted they're in high school and middle school, there's a lot more work. Um, both of them did transition during the pandemic. So it's kind of like they miss their kindergarten, you know, that year that is a little bit more nurturing and that they get into those.

So who knows. But that's what I get the feeling is that it feels like they have to catch up. Do you feel like that with your students? I know there's a lot of divide, but do you feel like you're kind of like rushing them to catch up or do you feel like it's stay with the course?

It's really hard because all the kids are, you know, pretty different levels in my class for third graders, you know, some are really high, some are really low and, and I really have to group them based on their level and really, you know, cater to where they're at in my classroom and not try to do a one fits all kinda.

Lesson. Well, good for you.

It's it's definitely challenging. Um, but that's how I've always, you know, that's why, that's what I've learned in college. You know, that's what I've just always done past, you know, to differentiate, you know, with the kids, we really can't gloss over things in third grade. Cause in Florida they have to pass the Florida state assessment to be promoted to fourth grade.

Oh, wow. Yeah. And.

This is the only grade that does that. We're the only pass, fail from a test.

Wow. So that's so much pressure.

Yes, it is. And so I really have to make sure they have mastered, you know, at least 80% of the standards to move on to fourth grade. Cause they really need to have that foundational third-grade level reading before being promoted to fourth grade.

Do you feel either one of you, do you feel like, you know, there, since the pandemic, I mean, it sounds like everyone everywhere has been affected in this academic realm. Right. Do you feel like the curriculum should be revamped?

Well actually, uh, Florida is revamping their standards next year actually.

Because of this or because…I think this has been in the works for some time now, right now we use the common core standard and next year we'll be doing the best B E S T standards. It's each letter has an acronym. I don't know what the letters are at. This is news to me. Yeah. We use different standards. During the summer we're supposed to have like a bunch of trainings on these new standards. Um, but yeah, they're definitely gonna be good, uh, education's always changing. It's never the same every five years or so.

There's something new that they wanna implement. Um, like right now we don't teach cursive in third grade, but next year we will be having to teach cursive as part of our standards. That used to be the standard. Yes. Was third grade,oh yes, yes.

And they're taking away the FSA, the Florida state assessment next year. So we won't have this anymore. So is there going to be a replacement? There is a replacement test, but instead of one big test at the end of the year, it will be test at the beginning of the year test 'em at the middle of the year, see if they've grown or if they've back, you know, went backwards and then test 'em at the end of the year. Do I know anything more than that? No, I do not.

Will that test still, will they still have to pass that test to get to the next grade?

I feel like there is a minimum score that they will need to get, but I don't know the score. I don't know the specifics. We're supposed to have a big training on it at the very end of the year. So knowing that kids are not all up to par, if you will, with their academics here and social skills, um, how can, how can parents be supporting this?

Well, for reading is just to have, just to read to your child, you know, and listen to your child read and help them correct their errors. Um, reading 20 minutes a night, the only way you're gonna be a better reader is if you practice and reading on your level, you know, you really need a partner with your teacher and, you know, ask what levels my doing, go to the library, get those level books, because if they're reading two easy books or two hard books, or it's not doing anything for their comprehension, so it's really about reading on their level and you know, just having someone to read to out loud yeah, we've done that.

Um, in first grade, uh, we have something called dear that every classroom has to do and it stands for drop everything and read that's just our silent reading so every day they're supposed to get about 20 minutes of silent reading time so that way in case they're not getting it at home, they have it in the classroom. Um, and I've seen kids go from, um, in the first grade from like the fourth or fifth month of kindergarten reading level to the second-grade reading level. We don't have anybody in that first-grade classroom under that's in the first-grade reading level anymore, because we make sure that they have books that are on their level and that they're reading with us or their partner reading or, um, just so we can hear them and then help them sound out the words and they work and problem solve words that they don't understand.

And they've just gone by leaps and bounds.

Yeah. I love that. I used to do it at school. I'll be honest as a parent because I remember the 20-minute reading every night thing. And not that I minded reading with my kids, but as they got older and the books got longer and harder. Yeah. It was like, I had to sign this paper. They would make us like write the book and how long they read for and I had to sign it and I, and you know, I wanted to be an honest parent and there were times my kid did not do it more than once.

I'll be honest. And so I didn't, you know, I, I signed what they did and then only to find that my kid had to stay in during recess while everybody else went out. And then I found out other people were not reading, but parents were signing it and I was like, wait a minute. So I love that you do it in, in school because it takes, yeah. It's I didn't wanna lie for my child, but at the same time, I also did not want them to be stuck inside.

Really?

That's so bad. Yeah. We should not take away recess as a punishment, you know? No, That, and I stopped assigning book law, you know, maybe like my second year, just because like you said, I don't know if you're really doing it. So, I mean, it's, it's really on the student, you know,  if they wanna do it, they're gonna do it, you know, but try to promote interesting books, you know, books, uh, are interesting and topics that interest them to make, you know, reading fun, you know,.

So. Okay. So that's great at promoting some of the academic piece. What about that? I know Millie mentioned like having trouble with problem solving or just gosh, even just that resilient piece. Um, how to promote that at home?

Um, I guess that, how would you promote like critical thinking and stuff?

Mm,  I could see it being hard because especially your age group, I feel like, you know, as parents, we're probably telling our kids what to do a lot too.

You know, um, like it was funny.  I'm even thinking of my daughter. I took her driving this morning. She of course we're in an older age group here. Um, and she has her permit and she's about to get her license and she drove to school. Yeah. Really scary people. This is what you're gonna be looking forward to. So enjoy your one year old going  to bed at eight 

Because being in the passenger seat is very terrifying. Yeah. But what I was saying is almost that problem solving, you know, my thought was she turned to me and she goes, I like when you drive with me, mom, because you, um, let me just kind of do it versus telling me all the things I need to do. Mm-hmm that's great. Yeah. And well, I'm scared, you know, but besides that, no, she's actually very good now, but, um, but my answer was, well, it's kind of like teaching a kid across the street. If I keep telling you how to cross the street, when I'm not there, you're still not gonna know right.

How to cross the street. So I can see like the problem solving piece at home when these kids are so young, we're so used to really telling them stuff, but maybe at home giving more options and choices and giving a scenario and then listening to what their answers are  to help with that piece. I don't know. 

Thinking instead of telling them their answer. Yes. And, and let them struggle a little, let's let them flounder for a few minutes with their answer or, you know, how they could solve something. If they're trying, if they're  to do something at home and they're getting frustrated, let them get a little frustrated. Obviously don't let them get to the point where they're trying to throw things. But I think that's called productive struggle when there is a little bit of discomfort, you know? Yeah. They're supposed to be uncomfortable to be able to figure out they could make it a little better for themselves, it helps them work through it. Yeah. And, and I think you, as a parent is the best role model. Like what do you do when you're stuck with a problem? You know, like, do you give up, do you cry? Do you throw your hands up and say, I give up, so you're the role model, you know? Yeah.

Yeah. And I love that piece of letting them struggle a little bit. Um, cuz even myself, I don't necessarily always let my kid struggle, but  that I can just see, you know, what you were talking about with the girl on the playground who wanted to go play, but didn't know if they weren't gonna play what she wanted to play, what to do. Those little practices could have helped her, even in that to do reason to say, okay, they're not playing this, but that's okay. I can go do this. Like just right. Having that. Yeah. So letting them struggle a, a little bit so that they can figure it out.

Exactly. Yeah. And, and I did that with my son the other day, we were looking at,  like a little Sesame street book and it had a few, um, three have five letter words in there. And so I, you know, had him go letter by letter and tell me what sound they made. And then I told him, okay, let's sound it out. You know, run those sounds together and try to get it. And he got a little frustrated at one point, he wasn't really upset, but he just kind of flopped back and went, I give up. And I said, well, don't give up because I know, you know, these sounds and you can make it out.

And he ended up sounding it out slowly. And then he said the word once, and then he said it a second time. And then it finally clicked that he was saying a word that he knew and he yelled at. Okay. So, you know,

So proud.

Yeah. So even if they're struggling, by the time they get to it, they're so much more excited and proud of themselves for having overcome it than they would be if you push them and helped them more than what, you know, they're more than capable. So if you, if you step in a little too soon, you're taking away a little bit of that pride. That's a great point. Yeah. Good point. So yeah, those are great things. Great things. How do you guys feel the overall morale is at school?

I think it's like a rollercoaster comes in waves. Yeah. I feel like the kids are happy to be back.  I've had fewer absent kids, you know? Yeah. I think the kids are more grateful to be back in the classroom with their friends. Um, so that's a positive thing but also there's that whole regulating or feelings or emotions, you know, not having these huge bursts of emotions when we don't get what we want or we don't get an answer. Right. Uh, as you said, it's a flip of a coin it's yeah.

Some good, some bad, for teachers. Um, I, for the teachers that I work with, we, you know, most of them want to be in the classroom. We do not want to work online. Of course, that's, you know, a preference, a personal preference, the ones, you know, that I, I work closely with, we prefer to work with our students in the classroom. Think it's easier to connect with them and to help them, you know, you know, in person at the small group table and not over a computer screen.

Yeah. All of the teachers that, the school I'm at, they're, they're pretty much not wanting to ever have to do that again. Yeah. It's all, you know, we wanna be here for them. They wanna be here, let's make it work. Yeah. 

So if you can let parents know one way we can support our kids or schools, our teachers, what would you tell them, or what do you guys need?

Um, classroom supplies. Your teacher what, whichever Amazon wish.

List.

Yes. Yes we do. We all do.

 Amazon wishlist with cool supplies. Okay. So are you finding that? I mean, I know teachers don't, they're using their own money half the time, but are you finding the of kids are also don't have supplies?

Uh, yeah. I, I definitely have, you know, a couple, well, see, my school is a charter school. So it's not a neighborhood school. Your, your parent has to choose our school to right. To come to our school. So there is a little bit more parent involvement at my school, um, than you would be just a regular neighborhood school where you have to take your kids to. So for that, and they have to wear a uniform, they have to buy the uniform to come to our school, but it's completely free tuition. Um, but you have to have your own transportation there.

And back from school for the kids' school supplies, I would say 90% of my students have their school supplies.

Okay. You know, but, by the end of the year, you know, those school supplies do not last the whole year, you know, those binders, you know, tear up and whatever pencils go missing. So we don't really get a lot of replacements after, you know, midyear. Um, but also partnering with homework help. Um, yeah. Yeah.

So helping them with their homework is that for the younger yeah. I stay away from my kids' homework as much as possible. Cause I, I don't want them to know that, I don't know 

Most definitely elementary is a bit different with that. Um, like where and involvement is huge. You, there are so many where, um, you know, we'll have teachers that sent home notes saying, you know, your, son is picking on this child or this is happening and they just write back and say, well, this is the third time I've gotten one of these. It sounds like you're just picking on my child. Yeah. Oh, wow. You know, it's, it's stuff like that where they're just not being openminded to stuff. Or, you know, you have to have that open line of connection with the teacher.

There's got to be, um, you know, the willingness to communicate and that, that talk with the student of, you know, you have to be respectful. You have to be respectful of the teacher of your other friends there. Um, you know, the academic help, of course there's so many that, um, their, their student, their kids are falling behind and they're aware of it and they don't do anything to support it at home. They're not sitting there reading with them or helping them through, you know, just memorize multiplication, facts and stuff.

It's just, you know, those basic things in elementary school, they mean so much in the classroom and Julie, do you feel like this has been more since the pandemic? Or do you feel like this is just the same as before?

I  can't really speak to that much. Uh, do you think it's more Millie, more so since the pandemic? Um, yeah, I would say so. I feel, um, I feel like the parents are more defensive now. You know, if there's an issue at all with their child, you know, they go immediate defense. No, that's not my child that they could not do that. They're an angel. They're perfect. So I don't know, like, we're not trying to pick on your child, we're just trying to bring, you know, attention issues to your attention. It's not us trying to pick on them.

The parents should, you know, be notified. So it sounds like the pandemic has affected lots of things. Yes. In academic, I mean, and everything from splitting the class, like the class, no longer is kind of moving along equally, right. To parents, actual support, and willingness to help be me and be more sensitive. Maybe they have more on their plate, you know, who knows that's true. Right. And, and less like less social development where they're not able to deal with little things and problem solve and have resilience for things that they should at this age.

Is that yeah. Get up quite a bit. Yeah.

That's pretty much it. Yeah. Yep.

Is there anything you want to add?

I do have to say, you know, the sad part is a lot of the students, previous students that I've had in previous years, um, you know, that's lost a parent, you know? Oh, to COVID and that's heartbreaking. So that's another layer of emotional health that took a hit.

Oh, that's terrible. Yeah. I didn't even think about that. You know, many people have lost, you know, almost whole family, a loved.

One. Yeah. Loved.

One or a loved one. Yeah. That's gotta be a whole other piece that you guys have to deal with. Well, you guys have been awesome. Just thanks for talking to me today and just being open about what's going on in schools. I was really curious to see how the pandemic has affected just our education system. And I mean, and I guess lastly, like, do you think we're gonna catch up, you know, emotionally and yeah.

Academically, do you think these kids are gonna catch up?

 I think there's hope. Yeah.

I definitely, and, and I guess the other question is, do they need to?

Yeah. Um, that's a great question. I definitely think there's always going to be learning gaps just because there's always different learning styles and how kids process information. Um, but yeah, with this new standards in Florida, um, I really am excited to see how it fills in the gaps, cuz it's not just third grade, it's across the board. K through 12th grade things. Kids are gonna be responsible for learning different skill sets. So I'm really excited for the future in Florida for education.

Nice.

Awesome. Well, thanks again for you coming today. And I hope we have a really awesome new next year somewhat normal you.

And thank you for inviting us. Yeah. Thank you so much

Thank you for listening to this episode, it was eye opening to see how much our kids have been impacted by the pandemic, both academically and emotionally. If you'd like to share your resources or looking for support from other moms, please visit a Facebook group where you can continue to each other. Don't forget to follow Real Life Momz so you don't miss an episode.

 

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Julie & Millie

Moms

Julie and Millie are the hosts of the podcast This Is Not For You, reading funny reviews of movies and TV shows they find online. Julie is an assistant teacher and mom to a 5 year old. Millie is in her 7th year of teaching and is mom to a 1 year old. They have been friends since junior high school.