It’s not news that parents are struggling with suddenly being cast into the role of virtual teacher. They didn’t sign up for two jobs, and most of them didn’t train to be educators. So how can parents do the best they can for their children, while staying sane, in the weeks ahead?
“Structure up,” said Gina Jeffries, director of SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School. “Make sure that everybody knows what their role is. The roles have changed.”
If bad behavior does pop up, she said parents should not ignore it, but instead practice redirection.
“You want to make sure that you redirect it and make sure that you are offering an opportunity to take a pause. Give yourself as a parent at least a 10-second pause. Breathe in, breathe out,” she said, “because our students are modeling our behaviors, especially right now, when they don’t have that social platform to exemplify those behaviors.”
And most importantly, everyone can do a better job at practicing empathy.
“Put yourself in the shoes of what a student may feel, what a parent may feel, what a teacher may feel,” she said. “We need grace. We are all in this together.”
Hear St. Louis on the Air host Sarah Fenske’s conversation with Jeffries:
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“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Joshua Phelps. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.
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