Back-to-school during pandemic is a balancing act for teachers who are also parents

Posted July 28, 2020 6:04 p.m. EDT
Updated July 29, 2020 6:11 p.m. EDT

— As the beginning of school inches closer, concerns are growing among some families, teachers and students.

The pressure is weighing on teachers who are also parents.

The countdown is on until the first day of remote learning with Durham Public Schools. Teachers who have children of their own are facing problems that lack solutions.

Educators have experienced many changes during this coronavirus pandemic, from uprooting their classrooms to job uncertainty to coordinating virtual lessons.

"We’re trying to be prepared for all the eventualities. For every different plan, it’s been a bit overwhelming," said Zachary Sennett, a teacher at Forest View Elementary.

Sennett and his wife are both teachers and parents. With two young children at home, balancing child care for one and remote lessons for the other will be tough.

“While also trying to maintain all the meetings and instructions that we are trying to give, it’s hard to prioritize," said Sennett.

He’s committed to giving his students a quality education online. When he returns to the classroom, concerns grow.

“Number one on everybody’s mind is how do we protect our families but also serve all the other families that need it?”

It’s those questions this teacher doesn’t have the answers to. Despite the hardships, he’s optimistic for the future of education. “We have the opportunity to re-imagine what education will look like, the opportunity to close gaps of disparity," he added.

DPS is less than two weeks away from remote learning. Sennett said his big focus is helping coordinate device distribution to ensure other families are ready on day one.

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