Parenting in the Pandemic

The Collision of School, Work, and Life at Home A Collection of Essays

Edited by:
Rebecca Lowenhaupt, Boston College
George Theoharis, Syracuse University

A volume in the series: Work-Life Balance. Editor(s): Joanne M. Marshall, Iowa State University. Jeffrey S. Brooks, Curtin University. Bonnie Fusarelli, North Carolina State University. Latish C. Reed, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. George Theoharis, Syracuse University.

Published 2021

In March of 2020, our daily lives were upended by the COVID pandemic and subsequent school closures. With work and school shifting online, a new and ongoing set of demands has been placed on parents as school moved to online, virtual and hybrid models of learning. Families need to balance professional responsibilities with parenting and supporting their children’s education. As education professors, we find ourselves in a particular position as our expertise collides with the reality of schooling our own children in our homes during a global pandemic. This book focuses on the experiences of education faculty who navigate this relationship as pandemic professionals and pandemic parents.

In this collection of personal essays, we explore parenting in the pandemic among education professors. Through our stories, we share our perspectives on this moment of upheaval, as we find ourselves confronting practical (and impractical) aspects of long held theories about what school could be, seeing up close and personally the pedagogy our children endure online, watching education policy go awry in our own living rooms (and kitchens and bathrooms), making high-stakes decisions about our children’s (and other children’s) access to opportunity, and trying to maintain our careers at the same time. In this collision of personal and professional identities, we find ourselves reflecting on fundamental questions about the purpose and design of schooling, the value of our work as education professors, and the precious relationships we hope to maintain with our children through this difficult time.

Praise for Parenting in the Pandemic

"Lowenhaupt and Theoharis have curated a magnificent collection of essays that captures the hopes, fears, tensions, and possibilities of parenting in a time of crisis. A gift to parents and educators everywhere as we continue to process and reflect on what the pandemic has taught us about what it means to educate others, and perhaps through a renewed imagination, our very own children." - Sonya Douglass Horsford, Teachers College, Columbia University

"In this powerful collection of essays, we have a rare window into how the personal and professional worlds of academics collided during the COVID-19 pandemic. What emerges from these reflections is an intimate portrait of the longstanding tensions in our lives as public intellectuals and parents that have long burned as embers, but are now set ablaze by the public health, economic, and educational crisis we have lived through during the last year. Reading these essays will help us to see questions of education policy and practice in a new, more personal light." - Matthew Kraft, Brown University

Documenting Our Collective Experiences: An Introduction to the Book. SECTION I: “FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW”: PANDEMIC PARENTING, JUSTICE, AND IDENTITY. Ice Cream for Breakfast, Vincent Cho. For Everything There Is a Season, Jennie Weiner. Privileging Love During a Double Pandemic, Gretchen Givens Generett. Dear Isabella, Dalia Rodriguez. Pandemic Homeschooling and Decisions Made of Care and Fear, Susan W. Woolley. Privilege Doesn’t Mean You Didn’t Work Hard, George Theoharis. Enough, Erica O. Turner. Seeking Refuge in Times of Crisis, Mario Perez. Holding, Trusting, and Loving in 2020, Josh Bornstein. Humanizing Education as Our World Unravels, Carrie Sampson. The Ways We Parented, Decoteau J. Irby. SECTION II: “GOT TO GO THROUGH IT!”: SCHOOLING AT HOME. Mama e, Gabrielle Oliveira. Carousel Parenting: Up, Down, and Around We Go Again, Jacob Hall. Realtime Ruminations: Young Children’s Thoughts on Social Life in 2020, Ariana Mangual Figueroa. Social Isolation While Self-Isolating, Shaun M. Dougherty. When Going Away to School Goes Away, Sarah Woulfin. Should the Kids Go Back to School? Wrong Answers Only, Erin Marie Furtak. Wrestling With Grace, Noreen Naseem Rodriguez. Paradoxes, Pedagogy, and Parenting, Patrick Proctor. A New Process of Living, Rebecca Lowenhaupt. We Are Sensitized to Rareness, Bill Black. The Only Way Is Through: Parenting My Teenagers in a World Upended, Sharon Radd. My Kids Will Be Fine: What About Everybody Else’s? Joanne Marshall. The Challenges of Music Teaching and Learning During the Pandemic, Elisa Macedo Dekaney. Unexpected “Bonus Time”, Edmund “Ted” Hamann. SECTION III: “WE ARE HERE FOR THE STORM”: SEEKING BALANCE IN THE MIDST OF CRISIS. Paradoxes in Pandemic Parenting, Martin Scanlan. Chaos and Connection, Lisa M. Dorner. Single-Parenting as an Academic During a Global Health Pandemic: Lessons Learned About Managing Distraction, Mom Guilt, and Self-Compassion, Sera J. Hernandez. Particles and Dueling French Horns, Sharon Dotger. Struggling Beautifully: Raising Two Black Girls in the Midst of Global Health and Racial Pandemics, Terrance L. Green. Lockdown, Alexandra Freidus. Uncertainty, Transitions, and an Unexpected Opportunity, Kate Spence. Life Can Be Hard, but It Is Beautiful, Jing Lei. Straight Outta the “Containment Zone”, Rosa L. Rivera-McCutchen. Just the Two of Us: Solo Parenting During the Pandemic, Jessica Rigby. A Story of a Part-Time Parent During the Pandemic, Bong Gee Jang. The Challenges and Gifts of Being a Parent and an Academic in a Pandemic, Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj. Blurring or Erasing the Lines Between Work and Home? Raquel Muñiz. Tenure Tracking From Home, Rachel Silver. Pandemic Parenting in the Middle of Life and Academic Transitions, Diego Román. Sinking and Swimming Through the COVID-19 Pandemic, Kristen Bottema-Beutel. The Things I Learned, Katharine O. Strunk. Tenured Professor, Melissa A. Martinez. Professor/Parent, Corrie Stone-Johnson. A Final Note to Our Readers. About the Authors.