Parents, Teachers Share Experiences With At-Home Learning

By Mark Brodie, Lauren Gilger, Katie Campbell
Published: Monday, August 31, 2020 - 2:06pm
Updated: Monday, August 31, 2020 - 3:28pm

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Lynette Stant
Arizona Educational Foundation
Lynette Stant in 2019.

2020 is the year of work from home, dining at home and school from home. The Show caught up with a few listeners to hear how it’s going: The good, the bad and the teenagers. 

Lynette Stant was the 2020 Arizona Teacher of the Year, and she teaches third grade on the Salt River Indian Reservation. She’s taught for 16 years, and the first 15 were nothing like this one.

She started distance learning with her third-graders Aug. 3. She said the experience has brought her closer to her students and their families — because her role in their lives is even more important now.  

“We’ve really tried to design a schedule that works for families," Stant said. "You know, we’re not asking for students to be online for six hours in the day. We put it on their schedule: ‘Take a break.’”

Stant told us parents had a lot of complaints last week, namely about the amount of time students are spending on their school work. And, for her, that’s been disheartening.

But her students remind her why she persists, like one little girl who had struggled to connect with her class for weeks. 

“And a lot of it was just issues with, you know, logging into our platform, getting links. So, I called, and she gets on the phone. And she was just a ray of sunshine. She was like, ‘Good morning, Ms. Stant!’ And I was just like ... You know, when you’re working from 7 a.m. to midnight, and — that one little ray of sunshine totally knocked down all the bad of this week. That’s why I do what I do," Stant said.

Ethan Pollett learning from home
Danielle Pollett
Ethan Pollett learning from home.

Danielle Pollett is a community activist and stay-at-home mom of four kids from sixth to 12th grade. 

Pollett said distance learning has actually worked well for her kids. That may have something to do with what she called her “mean mom” approach early in the pandemic.

“I made them stick to a school schedule, and we adapted that by adding in ‘mom school’ stuff, too," Pollett said. "So, like, I would make them help me outside in the yard, doing, like, a STEM class slash help me garden. So, me being able to take a backseat to their education now — it’s good for them, and it’s easier for me.”

There have been really positive results of having her kids at home, too. Her eldest son has special education needs, so she’s been able to monitor his progress more closely. And her sixth-grader has been more confident making new friends.

But her 14-year-old, Ethan, a high school freshman, isn’t entirely sold — even if he does agree with keeping kids at home for now.

He said his teachers are doing everything they can to make the online experience a good one. But some things are just out of their hands — like parents trying to help with an interview.

“Wait. Oh my god. Wait. Just wait a sec. My mom has to tell me something," Ethan said. "OK, well, the virtual high school situation is going easy right now, I guess. Sorry, my mom had to inform me about something.”

She’s working hard, though, and Ethan knows that.

“Like, the first day, all of us were doing online school. My two younger siblings had — like, this is their first time doing anything like this. And my mom had to run between three different rooms to try and make sure everyone was doing OK. So, it was a bit chaotic,” Ethan said.

The Pollett family
Danielle Pollett
The Pollett family.

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