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More teaching, more books — but no more parents’ dirty looks

Max Mawn, 10, rides through a makeshift obstacle course in the backyard of his family's home.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/The Boston Globe

Teachers certainly get parents’ frustration but would prefer scorn not come with it

As a parent and a 20-year music educator for Massachusetts public schools, I empathize with the frustrations voiced in Stephanie Ebbert’s article “A learning experience some parents can do without” (Page A1, April 17). Sadly, empathy seems to be missing from the comments of the parents Ebbert interviewed.

My superintendent reiterates weekly, “Folks, we’re in a pandemic here!” None of us have been here before, or had the privilege to prepare. New roles have been thrust upon us, not to mention the concurrent extremes of isolation, illness, financial instability, and dissolution of personal space in our homes. We’re overwhelmed in our own ways, but we all share the same overarching circumstance. Empathy helps us to recognize that and better support each other.


All parents are teachers, as our children learn how to navigate this world with every action and turn of phrase we choose. Teachers are entrusted to educate our children and facilitate their well-being. Redirecting one’s frustrations at educators, as was the focus of this article, is a destructive paradigm. This is a pandemic, and we all should navigate in the best way for our individual circumstances. That includes adapting the learning activities provided by our educators, as needed. But let’s do so with grace, and without judgment.

David Schumacher


Music class should not be the first to go

Regarding Stephanie Ebbert’s front-page story, I admire Melissa Mawn and applaud her hard work and dedication in balancing her family’s needs, her work, and her children’s education. Her story touched on what I believe is a larger issue, however. In struggling to support her children in keeping up with their classes, she appeared to sacrifice their music education.

It seems that when schools cut budgets, the arts are always the first to go. As a musician, I had hoped that a positive outcome of the closing of musical organizations, theaters, and museums during the pandemic would be a greater appreciation for the arts and their importance to our lives and culture. Sadly, it seems that not everyone is learning that lesson.


Pamela Schweppe