I have spent the last month teaching first grade. Can I please go back to drawing silly comics on the internet now?
Kidding aside, I’ve been on “vacation” while Starcaster #7 was released, and that’s in quotations because it barely qualifies for the word. I did get to spend a lot of time with my family, which was a blessing, but at the same time due to the circumstances of the world right now, our new “normal” feels so askew and surreal.
Schools have been shut down since March and, at least in our area, they’ve announced they’re not reopening them this school year. So, like most parents, we’ll continue functioning as our 1st grader’s Math, Literacy, Science, Music, and Art teachers, in a capacity we were not even remotely trained for.
Over the past few weeks we (the parents and teachers together) have begun to find a balance and rhythm to conducting class at home. From what I gather, every school system is tackling this differently, with some barely doing anything, and others piling on the work. Ours falls towards the latter side of the spectrum, and while it’s not a full school day, it still amounts to 2-3 hours of schoolwork every morning. We’re fortunate because we’re home and we only have one child old enough for school, but I cannot imagine how parents are coping if they’re juggling kids at multiple grade levels, or still have to work their 9-5s.
Never in all my life have I thought to myself “I’d like to teach, that’s something I’d enjoy,” but I’m happy to do it for my son (and I’m not half bad at it, if I do say so myself. 1st grade math is my bitch). Still… there’s a part of me that is excited to return to a more familiar and comfortable routine, writing and drawing comics each week, even though it feels awful to say it because me returning to work means my wife will be doing a larger percentage of the daily classes.
Sitting here, in my office drawing pictures, is something that still feels normal, when so much of how we’re living right now is so very changed.
It’s a rare gift to be one of the few artists who make enough money doing what they love. It’s definitely something to be cherished. 😊 I’m glad you’re back!
On a side note, how come we rarely ever see your wife in these introspective comics?
I’d wager a guess that having a child is a constant stream of novel new experiences (and surprises) that _trigger_ introspection and exploration via comic form, whereas marriage is something we get eased into much more gradually with a long-term training program. I.e. we precede marriage with betrothal, long-term relationships, and in general pre-evaluation and choice of partners. Also, said partners are far less frequently going to shamelessly embody parts of ourselves we did not previously recognize. 😛 At any rate, it’s a pattern I’ve noticed with other webcomic authors as well (parenthood bleeding into their content far more than… Read more »
tl,dr; Kids say the darndest things! 😉
Hang in there Tim, we know exactly what you mean. Both my wife and I work, and it’s been a struggle to teach our 8 year old son. I just brought by son to school – they re-opened this week after a 10 week break, but just 3 h on 4 days a week. So this gives a few precious hours to… procrastinate and read CAD 😀 Let’s just say I enjoy teaching, in general, but both my son and I were relieved that Dutch grammar is from now on again taught in school, not by me… Keep up the… Read more »
Teacher speaking here. 🙂 In the last few weeks, quite a number of parents have developed a new kind of respect for my profession. In the past there were the old prejudices like “teachers are lazy, they work only half-day” and all that crap. But now, its more like “Holy sh*t, that teaching stuff is HARD! And exhausting! We want teachers back!” I cant help but snicker whenever I hear something like this. Kinda mean, I know. XD
Since when is 8 hrs/day 5 days/week half days. Not to mention all the stuff done at home (grading, lesson plans, worksheets/tests, etc.)
The lack of respect for teachers, civil servants, police, scientists, etc. stems from a lack of understanding of the work. When you understand that a) teaching overall has a lot of facets most of you never see (learning to teach N different ways, learning to handle having kids of vastly differing aptitudes, dealing with different learning modalities, and learning how to handle the stuff that comes into the classroom from home situations) and you don’t realize how much goes into lesson planning, developing skills to teach modern skills (PD days aren’t holidays either!) and when you understand that many students… Read more »
I’d be… _extremely_ careful about sending your son back to school. Covid19 is far from harmless for young people, and schools are incredibly bad places for social isolation (something kids often don’t quite have a good handle on in the best of times). If you’re living in the US, I’d call it downright lunacy.
So glad I don’t live in America right now…
Yeah, it’s not great with an egotistical idiot in the White House more worried about money and his reelection than trying to save the most amount of lives possible.
that is a blanket statement about most of the idiots in DC…..the dems are no better
No economy = no production. No production = no supplies of critical stuff. You cant just keep printing money to buy stuff if that stuff isnt being made anymore. There is only so long we can keep everything shut down before that lack of production starts killing far more than the virus ever could. I really wouldn’t want to be stuck in a big urban area if the supply chain transporting food into there finally broke under the strain. Its not just the farms and the supermarkets that are esential, its the proccessing plants that make the food, its the… Read more »
Actually, more of the economy is operatng than you think. If it weren’t, we would have massive stocks shortages far greater than what we are experiencing right now. In reality, a majority of industries that fall under “nice to have’s” have shut down, but even computer stores need to be open. Ultimately, the only thing that will kill more than the virus, his despair. And even then, I feel it is being blown dramatically out of proportion. I will agree, however, that, with the exception of the United States, it is getting to the time where the economy must be… Read more »
Well, our school blazed through some kind of “digital transformation” and kinda adapted (kinda.. ). So my 3rd-grader and 7-grader now spend lots of hours in front of computer Zooming or doing digital assignments. Even 3rd-grader is pretty self-sufficient. Being already quite internet and pc-literate, she needed help organizing her school day and coping with data flow, and maybe just a tiny bit of tech support, but that’s it. She has dance school lessons over Zoom as well from week two.. So, it’s almost business as usual (except quarantine thoroughly and completely killed screen time rules 😀 ) But I… Read more »
At least this way you can make sure certain BS a lot of districts had been trying to push over the past year stays (at least somewhat) out of his education! ^_^
Welcome to home schooling Tim. One does not have to be trained to teach your children. The curriculum does that. You just have to get them to follow it and help as needed. If one can read, they can do that.
Reminds me of a comic where the drawer said “after quarantine I realized we pay our teachers way too little for their jobs” when he had to explain his 3 kids different kinds of math. XD
Not exactly what I imagined to be behind the phrase “My children never fail to put a smile on my face”, but hey, I’m learning things too =)
Welcome back, Tim! Hope your vacation was restful and your family continues to stay safe!
Please don’t make us wait 18+ months for Starcaster #8.
The key words in this post are “Right Now.” I just want you to know, and everyone else, that there is no “new normal.” Anyone who tries to push those words is trying to push their own idea on how to reshape America to THEIR ideal, instead of letting America be shaped by the people who live there. We’re going to go back to normal. Just don’t let your definition of it change from how it was before the pandemic.
Honestly he’ll probably learn more from you than his school teacher. My cousin is a teacher for grade schoolers, and knowing that SHE’S responsible for the upbringing of the next generation, I fear for this country.They’ll let ANYONE teach.
I teach middle school and you are right. Parents are the most important teachers in their kids’ lives and not every teacher is particularly good at what they do.
In my wife’s district they’re teaching via video call. She has appointments with each student every week, the students all have videos to watch for lessons, and classwork and homework to do that they go over.
I wonder if his son answers the question “What do you want to do when you grow up?” with “I want to draw funny comics with me & my kids in it, just like my Dad!”
You sound like a good husband and father. Best of luck with the rest of the quarantines and shutdowns.
It’s perfectly natural to crave familiarity. We’re all feeling the same, Tim! No need to feel bad about it. Here’s some imaginary support coming your way!