Kuhn talks parenting young kids and teaching in a pandemic
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, many parents have had to work extra hard to help their young children learn, grow, and live in a constantly changing world, on top of navigating virtual schooling. Teachers have had to adjust to new topics and social issues, as well as new styles of teaching: first online, and then socially distanced, with masks on. They also have had to address the needs of students who experienced trauma during the pandemic.
Kate Kuhn, an English teacher at ARHS is one of the many people who is juggling both realities.
Kuhn saw first-hand how the pandemic affected kids of all ages. She emphasized how in raising her own children—6 year old Brooks and 9 year old Anna—she is “worried about the state of the world they’re growing up in,” and said she and her husband are working especially hard “trying to protect them both physically and emotionally.” She expressed how bad she felt for younger kids who weren’t able to see their friends or go to school during the pandemic.
The pandemic also overlapped with national uprisings for racial justice, and Kuhn dove into further educating herself and developing curriculum to address the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-AAPI discrimination in our community and at large.
Like all teachers, Kuhn noted that the high school’s shift to online school, then hybrid, then fully in-person school required endless adaptation. While she appreciated the connections she was still able to form in online-school, Kuhn said that hybrid school in the spring of 2021 was much more difficult as “it was so hard to split my attention” between the students online and the students in the classroom.
A challenge for Kuhn was balancing her work as a teacher and her responsibilities as a parent. She described both responsibilities as “all-in things.” “There are not enough hours in the day to be amazing at both,” Kuhn said, but she felt that the pandemic made her “okay with being okay” instead of perfect all the time.
Like many people, Kuhn and her family found ways to bond and take breaks by going outside. “I love being a mom and doing outdoorsy stuff with my family,” like walks and hikes, said Kuhn, and she has been able to run more. “I feel really fortunate in the physicality of where we live,” Kuhn said. “It is a wonderful place to have kids during the pandemic; you can get outside easily.”
Kuhn also said how lucky she feels to be living in a place with high vaccination rates and people who for the most part respect mask mandates. Still, Kuhn looks forward to the future when she can eat in restaurants again. “I’d like to eat lunch with my colleagues again. I really miss that,” Kuhn said.
Although there are always challenges, Kuhn enjoys her job working as an English teacher and her role as a mother. “My life is so full and enriching,” she says. “Something I’ve seen is how amazing kids are.”