Teaching at home and over Zoom

Lexi Belyue ‘21, Web Editor

The Shelson household setup for remote learning has been working efficently. Photo courtesy of  Jacqueline Shelson.

Due to the pandemic teachers and students have been moved to an online learning structure. As a result of this change, trying to balance a home and work life has become substantially harder. Teachers who have children schooling from home have more than one schedule to uphold in order to have success for their children and students.
Grosse Pointe South math teachers, Kristie Philliben and Jacqueline Shelson have been teachers for 15 years. Philiben has two daughters, both of which are in elementary school. Shelson has three sons, Jack and Jacob who are in elementary school and James who is two years old. They both felt relieved when they found out they would be teaching from online.
“The unknown scared me a bit to be honest and I didn’t know what it would look like if we were to be going back to school so soon. Plus, I knew my children were learning from home too, so it helped to know that I didn’t have to scramble to find care for them.” Philiben said.
When she found out her kids would be online too she felt upset because, “It is difficult for kids at that age to sit and learn from behind a computer screen.” Philliben said.
Shelson said she felt “-nervous about all the safety precautions and what teaching in person would look like,” and that she, “-was sad this was how my kindergartener would start school, but also relieved that they would be safe at home while the district continued to work on their return to learning plan.”
Because everything is at home, Philiben finds it difficult to separate her home and work life and finds herself working more than she ever has. Shelson feels the same because her prep work time cuts into class time. Although, student support hours help Philiben and Shelson to dedicate a specific amount of her time to her students. She said “Once dinner is over, I try to focus solely on my own kids and help them with their work.” Shelson feels lucky to have help from her parents,with my kids during their school time. “I don’t think I would have been able to do it without them.” Said Shelson.
Philiben appreciates all the support she gets from her students and her kids while dealing with new challenges of online learning. Shelson said, “I’m thankful for the grace my kids and students give me as we all try to navigate this new landscape.”
Philiben goals for this year are to, “inspire students to like math and to keep a calm leveled mind throughout the year.” Shelson goals for this year are to, “try to take care of me whenever I can, I’ve been really neglecting myself so I can help my kids and my students.” “I take one day or one week at a time, and try to reciprocate the grace that is given to be back to my kids and students,” Shelson said.