Assistant Principal Nicole Sandoval
Photo Courtesy of Nicole Sandoval
“We can do everything in our pajamas and get dressed when we’re ready”, Nicole Sandoval says with a smile on her face.
Sandoval is an Assistant Principal at Arroyo. She has two children, Joaquin (5) and Sonia (2). Sandoval has been quarantined with her kids throughout this time of COVID and has continued to grow closer with them and create new memories.
Being home with her children has allowed Sandoval to adopt a different perspective on distance learning and establish a deeper understanding of what younger students are experiencing.
“I think we are definitely a lot closer, I think I’m learning a lot more about little kids and how they process emotions and having to learn how to share or not, or how to communicate. That has been a really interesting learning curve for me[...]I’m really learning a lot about my kids that I think I would have taken for granted when they go to school because someone else is teaching them those lessons.”
Although Sandoval is home with her kids all the time, her work is also there with her.
“I don’t get to always spend as much time with them as I would like because I’m always in front of a computer, doing my zoom calls and work. It’s even gotten to a point where my children will say, they will pretend to be mom and dad. ‘I have to go to a meeting, I can’t talk right now’”
Even with the commotion of work, Sandoval speaks of what she will remember after all this is over. She smiles as she talks about those small moments with her family.
“When I look back at this time one year from now or five years from now, we have like afternoon dance parties. We set bells for things like we have a lunch bell, just like in school, and we have a snack bell, and when the snack bell goes off my children lose their mind because they are so excited. So I’ll have those memories when it's over.”
Social Studies Teacher Carrie Kelder
Photo Courtesy of Carrie Kelder
Carrie Kelder wakes up and gets ready for the workday that lies ahead. Instead of walking out the front door, there in her household a brand new day begins.
Social Studies teacher Carrie Kelder is also facing the same at-home situation with her kids. Kelder has two children, Gabriel (9) and Genevieve (5). During this time of quarantine, she has been together with her kids at home most of the time. Due to this, she has continued to grow a closer bond with her children and is able to spend more time with them.
Without the outside business of everyday life, Kelder and her family are able to build their relationship together.
“One of the positives of this experience is just getting to spend more time with them. You know, not having much time rushing around, school and work and everything else. Just being home a little bit more and more time together.”
Although Kelder has been able to spend more time with her kids, she expresses her concern with her daughter being able to adjust in the future.
“I think my daughter is more attached to me. I think it's going to be hard for her to go back to school someday because she is used to be around me so much.”
Even with the possible adjustment issues in the future, Kelder explains the resilience she has seen with her kids throughout quarantine.
“Just seeing in a lot of ways how resilient kids are. I think that in the beginning I thought oh kids they just they can’t do this, and even sometimes with DL I think it was kind of a rocky start of the school year for them. I feel like just seeing how kids can adapt and can adjust and will be okay, I think that has been good.”
Health/Business Teacher Catherine Simonetti
Photo Courtesy of Catherine Simonetti
Catherine Simonetti is holding an online zoom class with her students. Suddenly, her daughter comes in yelling, “The bird’s alive! I brought the bird back to life!”
Health and Business teacher Catherine Simonetti has two children, Chiara (15) and Giancarlo (12). During this circumstance of COVID and quarantining in our households, Simonetti has been together with her kids. Throughout this time, she has continued to grow her relationship with them and build more memories.
Since Simonetti is with her children all the time, that has caused them to get on each other's nerves a little more.
“We are all zooming. [My] house is so small and my son is not even 20 feet away from me and his door is closed. My daughter is like 30 feet. I feel like I yell more, I’m a little bit..., I’m a yeller. We are all on each other's nerve right now sometimes, because we are all together.”
With everything in Simonetti’s life being centered at home, it can lead to crazy experiences that she shares with her children. On one particular morning Simonetti was getting ready for her zoom class. To her surprise, her cat walks in with something Simonetti never expected.
“So this is 10 min before my zoom class and I’m looking at the cat and I’m like oh my god the cat’s got a hummingbird. So my son is doing zoom, he’s clueless, he does not know what’s going on, my daughter and I are running around trying to get the cat, cat drops the hummingbird and the hummingbird starts flying around the house. Now we are like 3 minutes before zoom..the cat gets the hummingbird. I get the cat (brang him to the back porch), the cat drops the hummingbird and I bring the cat inside...Next thing you know, I’m in the middle of class because we think the bird has gone to birdy heaven. She [Chiara] comes in running ‘The bird’s alive! I brought the bird back to life’ and the kids in class were like yay the birdy is alive. This is the stuff that happens and I have no place else to go. I'm in my house.”
With all the different things that go on in Simonetti’s household due to quarantine, she has made memories with her kids. She expresses the bond they have together as a family.
“We are kind of like the 3 musketeers, it's just the three of us.”