Like Kindergarten All Over Again

Anna Burgess Yang
4 min readOct 19, 2020

We are now about six weeks into remote learning. We have experienced All Of The Mishaps, including: internet going out immediately before class starts, missing Zoom classes altogether, assignments not turned in, teachers getting dropped from the Zoom, not able to hear or be heard, not being able to log in, and saying things like “you must change out of your pajamas before class.”

For the most part, my 5th grader and 3rd grader have adapted well. There is a lot of consistency in their days. They are enjoying interacting with their friends.

Assignments have been the biggest challenge. Our district uses Google Classroom for everything. I diligently check the To Dos with my kids in the morning, specifically the Missing items. If something isn’t done, I send them to their desks to finish their work.

Then an email from the 3rd grade teacher alerted me to the fact that some work doesn’t appear in the To Do items. It might need to be completed in an external app or not have a specific Due Date assigned.

A few weeks later, another email from the 3rd grade teacher made me aware that my son had some unfinished assignments. I had neglected to check on a Friday so he was a few days behind. The teacher assured me he could still turn in the work. Another teacher emailed that my son had turned in a project, but forgot to record an audio clip of himself talking about the project (which we then scrambled to complete).

I have felt frustrated. Like I am failing my kids. That they are not doing what they should be doing.

It is nothing like spring, when they were first sent home due to Covid. That was a complete train wreck. The kids were left mostly to their own devices, with very little interaction from teachers. They spent hours per day “learning on their own” and very little got done. I wiped my hands clean of that school year.

But now, it seems likely that my kids will be home for the entire 2020–2021 school year. While the teachers have been very kind and understanding, I feel like my kids are underperforming. They have both always done well in school, so it has been hard for me to put my finger on what is happening.

Then the other day it hit me: I’ve been thinking of them like a 3rd grader and a 5th…

Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur. Niche freelance writer. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. •