Channelview woman shares virtual learning tips

CHANNELVIEW, Texas (KTRK) -- Virtual learning is challenging enough but for teachers who are trying to balance online instructions with assisting their own children with virtual lessons, school days are even more stressful.

It's the reality for thousands of teachers across the Houston area and even more across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Cathy Sylvester is a Pre-K teacher at a charter school in Channelview and cares for her 5-year-old and 11-year-old grandchildren while her daughter serves in the United States Navy.

She taught virtual-only for two weeks and is now teaching virtual and face-to-face.

Sylvester admits that this new normal for school is a real challenge for a teacher who is also a parent.

"The 5-year-old, I set her computer up where she can just click on her virtual," Sylvester said. "Then on her computer, she looks at her code and enters her code in when it's time to get on."

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It's the same routine for her 11-year-old grandson, but Sylvester feels the toughest part is that she can't stop what she's doing during virtual classes to help her grandchildren when they need help.

Sometimes, she has no other choice.

"If she cant do something, she'll sit there and cry, and I have to actually stop," Sylvester said.

"I'm not able to always go there and help her when she's breaking down because she can't write a letter or she can't write a picture or she can't do something. I'm not there to support her as a parent," she continued.

It's something Sylvester and so many other parents who are also teachers are struggling with right now, but this veteran teacher told ABC13 that after weeks of trying to find a groove, she has found somewhat of a balance. She is even offering others who are in her situation some advice.

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Sylvester urges teachers to make sure their children know how to be completely independent when it comes to getting online. She also insists that teachers should take virtual learning one day at a time.

"Just take a deep breath and do what you can do," Sylvester said. "Don't stress yourself out. Please don't stress yourself out."

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