OPINION: Math is math, or, I am not a teacher!

Mar 24, 2020, 5:04 PM
not a teacher...
David Noriega admits it freely, "I am not a teacher" and cannot efficiently teach his four children at home during the COVID-19 social distancing period. (Photo credit: KSL Newsradio)
(Photo credit: KSL Newsradio)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

I’m Bob Parr. 

You would know him as Mr. Incredible. 

Not because I’m a superhero, I’m far from it. 

I’m Mr. Incredible because I don’t fit in my car, my clothes fit too tight, and I become irrationally angry when helping my child with math.  “Math is math!” 

At least I thought it was.  

School is NOT out for summer. It’s still hanging on by a thread. Teachers heroically threw together lesson plans and posted them online so that some semblance of learning can continue. The weak link in the equation? Parents. 

I am not a teacher, and I can’t play one at home.

I was sitting next to my 14-year old son, when I came upon Jack-Jack, the demon baby of the 8th-grade algebra world; the radical in the denominator. What is probably a fiveminute solution from a trained professional like a math teacher, turned into an hour-long investigation by a parent; frustrating both student-child and teacher-parent. 

If I liked teachers before, I positively love them now. I can’t do what they do.  

Do the math, I can’t do the math.

I have four children ranging from ages 9-to-18. Online school during the coronavirus pandemic has my wife and I juggling dozens of teachers, assignments, software applications, passwords, etc. We are ill-prepared to educate our children. It’s why we’ve turned them over to the state. 

This is the first week. I’ve got 60 days left on this sentence. I want to be involved with my children’s education, I just don’t feel equipped to carry the load. Despite teachers’ herculean efforts to develop a curriculum on the fly, it’s been difficult and clunky. Every teacher is attacking the problem differently; some do video chats, some have links. To take a test my son needed to print out the test, take the test, scan the test, then upload the test to the teacher. Now multiply this by a factor of four. 

Is the juice worth the squeeze? 

Then I read a Facebook post from Connor Boyack that might have solved my problem.  

Eject. Call it a day/term/semester/year.   

“What I have advocated for and suggested to parents is,” said Boyack in an interview on KSL Newsradio’s Dave and Dujanovic program, “file a legal homeschooling affidavit.” 

“This doesn’t mean your kids are dropping out of school or getting a 6-month summer vacation,” said Boyack, “it just means that you’re going to pursue education a little bit differently, a little bit more sanely.

“Where you can maybe teach all of your kids the same topics, rather than different topics for different kids, with different worksheets. It just compounds the problem.” 

“Parents throughout the state are ripping their hair out, because on top of trying to maintain their own jobs, and their own lives while working from home, they’re now having to be teachers for all these subjects, for each of these tasks, for each different child,” said Boyack. 

Here’s the link to the homeschool affidavit.

A breath of virus-free air.

The thought of being exempt from “curriculum standards, homework expectations, assignments, and more,” as Boyack described in his post, is extremely appealing.  

I could re-enroll the kids into public school in the fall. 

This is fairly easy for kindergarten-through-eighth grades. Check with the principal and your child will likely advance to the next grade without issue.  

High school is a little more difficult. To graduate, students need a certain amount of credits and required classes. For example, my senior couldn’t do it because he has an English and Pottery class remaining to graduate—yes, a pottery class is standing in his way. 

I’m not endorsing this. I’m not even sure I’m brave enough to do it, but it’s something that I’ll most definitely consider. 


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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OPINION: Math is math, or, I am not a teacher!