The global conduct has put a lot of people in working conditions they never experienced before. For teachers, providing lessons online has become the norm instead of a rarity.
But teaching from home via Zoom can have challenges beyond just equipment malfunctions or PICNIC errors.
One educator turned to the Relationship Advice subReddit for help with his home classroom situation.
Redditor ThrowRAsabotaged posted:
"My wife constantly makes a conscious effort to humiliate me during my lessons over Zoom."
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"While under normal circumstances I would try to communicate my feelings to my wife, I am at my wits' end for how to handle this situation, as I have exhausted all of the typical conflict resolution means."
"Being a teacher, I am currently giving lessons over Zoom. I recognize that studying math over Zoom isn't the most exciting thing in the world for students, and I can barely get them to even pretend to be interested in my lessons when we're in the classroom, but they have done an admirable job of staying focused."
"My wife is making it extremely difficult on my end, though."
"Several months ago when my lessons began, I went from working long hours to being at home all day. Unfortunately my wife does not seem to understand that while I am at home, and while I can occasionally help out with a chore or two, I still have actual work to do."
"Between lesson prep, grading, and meetings, my schedule is quite full."
"The first time she interrupted my lesson, she abruptly opened the door to the room where I was teaching and loudly asked me to do the dishes. This was unbelievably awkward as I was in the middle of teaching three dozen tenth graders geometry."
"I told her we would talk about it later, but not being deterred, she asked if that was a 'yes' or a 'no'. I said it was a 'yes', but that I was in the middle of a lesson."
"Without a word she closed the door. I got some chuckles from the students but a bit of red-cheeked embarrassment was the extent of the damage."
"The next time, two days later, she again barged in holding a pair of my pants that I left on the floor of our bedroom. She loudly stated 'you need to pick up after yourself'. This time, before responding, I muted my mic and turned off my camera telling her that I was in the middle of a lesson."
"Again, she walked away without a word."
"At this point I moved my setup into the basement of our house so I could avoid further interruption. Since my basement looks like it probably has a few dead bodies buried in it, my students have begun to call me 'Basement Dad', which is endearing, but I would rather teach in a room where I'm not going to get asbestos in my lungs."
"The trouble really began when I started locking the door to prevent interruptions."
"My wife will begin by rattling the door a few times, followed by pounding on it. Then she'll groan loudly and say something negative about me. After that I can hear her walking around the house slamming doors."
"A few weeks ago, she was literally jumping up and down, stomping her feet, in the room above mine. In the first months of these online lessons I set up a hotkey to mute my mic and disable my camera instantly when needed, and luckily my reflexes honed from Counter-Strike in my teens has paid off."
"But there have been times where she has sneaked in an embarrassing moment for me."
"Every time I have patiently explained to her that I need complete quiet to teach my lessons, and she says 'yeah yeah yeah OK'. Then in the next lesson, without fail, she'll find something new to complain about and throw a tantrum, trying to humiliate me in front of my students."
"While my mute game is on point, students have recognized something is wrong. One of my 9th graders even sent me an email asking if everything was OK. I had to make up a lame excuse about needing to mute my mic because of a sudden grinding noise that happens in my old basement. There's no way she bought that."
"Since I'm unable to go out, unable to even enter the school grounds, and have no place to go to avoid my wife, I'm unbelievably anxious when I teach. I have tried talking to her calmly, and I even tried to get angry at her."
"When I yelled at her for forcefully sliding plastic files under the door so they'd float down in the background during my lessons, she expected me to apologize for getting angry at her."
The OP later commented that they have an 8-month-old child.
"How can I even approach this kind of problem?"
Redditors had a lot of outrage over the wife's behavior.
But Redditor Sweetragnarok summed it all up perfectly.
"I had a co worker with a wife that was super controlling and sadly very embarrassing to him. She has....issues and we are aware of it as a department."
"He was a wonderful worker and I have no complaints of his ethics but his wife can cause serious damage. She calls and harasses our office lines if she cant get a hold of him."
"If a female answers the office line, its a automatic cheating/mistress belief. She was an absolute Karen."
"She got karma'd back when the line was accidentally transferred to a board member who was also female. Some colorful words were said and the Board Member held her cards till the end, revealed her role and said due to her actions her husband can be up for suspension and corrective action."
"She begged and stopped calling/harassing."
"She was a stay at home wife who's world revolved around her husband who was already checked out in trying to stop her. He did get reprimanded too but at least it was a reality check for his wife. He worked 2 jobs to support his wife even though he lives frugally."
"OP you need to be more stern."
"Normally I won't condone snapping back but if your wife kept doing that it would have been a mute the mic/cam and a WTF is wrong with you comment to her. Explain you can get fired, get in trouble (even if it's not true) but being a teacher your public persona as a positive role model is a HUGE deal at your work...that even harmless jokes and pranks can have consequences."
"Also they pay you for the hours at work to work...not do chores. If she needs anything, to text you and you will get to it on break or after work hours."
"You gotta put a HARD stern boundary. Since she acting like a child, its time to scold her like one."
"People mentioned [PostPartum Depression]. Since you have an 8 month old. Have this discussion with your doc on the next appointment."
"If she is overwhelmed with the chores see if you can hire a relative or a day baby sitter for 2-3 hours 2x a week to help out with house chores or grocery runs your wife cant do. There will be lots of college or HS students willing earn the extra cash and even learn some housework or 2. Having a another person in the house may deter her from throwing tantrums."
"[Redditor drholistic5] made a great point in her comment as she works in the educational sector. Most school do have a Code of Conduct policy inside and outside the classrooms for both faculty and students regardless if you are in school or outside."
"His wife's actions may pose a serious threat to OP's job especially if either of them snaps and is caught on camera."
The OP did not post an update saying what he decided to do, but hopefully he found a way to make his work life and his home life work.