California Educator

October/November 2020

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E V E N I N N O R M A L T I M E S , second grade teacher Nailah Legohn has seen the lines blur between parental support and parents doing the homework, so their children don't fall behind. But with distance learning, parents and sometimes older siblings are doing schoolwork of children more frequently. "Sometimes it's hard to know who is really doing the work," says Legohn, a teacher at Ridgemoor Elementary School in Sun City. " The little ones need a lot of parent support. And they may be saying, 'I don't get it.' If they whine and cry enough, the parent may give in and provide the answer because they want the child to get credit — or they want their child to go outside and play. Parents are under so much pressure. Many of them are also working at home while trying to help their children." Parents think they are helping, but they are not, says Leg- ohn, a member of the Menifee Teachers Association. "I tell them, 'Please don't do the work for them.' I explain that they are not setting up their child for success. If kids know that some- one else is going to provide the answer, they will expect that to happen when they go back into the regular classroom. And that's not how it's going to be. When schools reopen, students are going to have to do the work themselves. If they aren't used to it, it will be much more of a struggle." Legohn asks her students to circle problems that are difficult for them, and then she helps students understand the material by offering extra help during virtual office hours. They can also message her on Google Classroom to ask questions. "I want my students to love learning and understand how to learn," says Legohn. "I am pushing for them to have a growth mindset and the ability to ask questions. I would rather see the child attempt something, fail, and ask for help, rather than not try. Parents are role models, and the best way they can help is teaching their children to take responsibility for their own learning." Nailah Legohn "I would rather see the child attempt something, fail, and ask for help, rather than not try." DISTANCE LEARNING: Parents Doing Children's Work? " I want my students to be successful. If they rely on shortcuts and cheat, they won't survive in the real world." — MAGGIE STRODE, Covina Unified Education Association I love my students. I want them to be successful — not only in my classroom, but in life. If they rely on shortcuts and cheat, they won't survive in the real world. No one will make allowances for them there." Hollman discusses cheating in her weekly "Life Lessons with Hollman" sessions, urging students to resist the temptation and instead ask for help. "I want to help them understand the material so we can fix the problem. I make time for tutoring during online office hours. And I explain that if they cheat in college, they won't just get a zero on an assignment — they will get kicked out of school." She also explains that it's in their own best inter- est: If enough students cheat, the teacher assumes the class has mastered the material, and makes the curriculum even more challenging. Q uintanilla talk s to hi s students about th e importance of digital citizenship and the value of the honor system in his classes. " With distance learning, you have to establish a go o d rel ation ship w ith stu d ent s, an d th en , w h en y ou emphasi ze hon esty, y ou have more buy-in from them." In the virtual classroom, old school cheating has given way to digital cheating with apps like Photomath. 51 O C T O B E R / N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 0 T

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