So, it’s day 24,234,634 of self isolation and now you have to add “teacher” to your resume. First of all, you’ve got this. Yes you. As a dad, you may not have gone to teacher’s college, but you can do this. How? Well here are a few pointers.
Stay informed. If you are stuck in the house together, find out what the school’s expectations are for your kids. If you have shared access or regular visits, keep up to date with how your kids are doing with their school work. Find out if there are assignments that need to be done, or if there are any particular struggles your kids are having with a certain subject. Make your time and visits fun but don’t make it that only one partner is carrying the burden of school. Have school as part of your time together. As dads, we can step up and be a powerful and important voice to encourage our kids at this time.
Show interest in learning. “Boring” is a dangerous word. Take time to know what they are doing in their schoolwork and help them see the joy in learning. That can look like a lot of different things, but the main thing is for you, yourself, to enjoy learning. Share with them a subject that you are interested in and let them see your passion. For a child to see their dad excited about something he has learned can make a big impact. If they are stuck on their schoolwork, help them find some resources that can help them along and get them to look at the problem differently.
Get help. You are not alone in this. Reach out to your children’s school and share with them the problems you are having. They will be more than happy to help, and they will be impressed that, as a dad, you are involved in their schoolwork.
Don’t look at this as another burden, but an opportunity. Maybe you are having a hard time mustering up enthusiasm for learning. Have a conversation with your kids and see if there is a mutual skill that you can learn together. Check out some of these places for inspiration. Here , here and here.
Enjoy learning together.
Dave Drabiuk is head of the Men's Program at the Belleville Pregnancy and Family Care Centre. All men are welcome to meet with Dave on Wednesdays. Men's Program runs 4pm-5:30pm every Wednesday. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.