We made it through *roughly* a month of shutdowns across the world due to COVID-19. You out there as teachers, parents, and educators in any way, how are you holding up? How are you doing?
This isn’t easy for majority of us. Us as the teachers, our students, or the faithful parents trying to step in while we can’t be there.
I know we are all worried about our students with fewer resources at home such as WiFi or lack of usable devices for school work. We’re wondering what impact this is going to have on our classrooms next year. We’re knee-deep in the unknown right now, how have you been doing through all of this?
We all need grace right now. Give yourself grace, give your students grace, and give your own children grace.
We are roughly two weeks into COVID-19 shutdowns, how is everyone doing? Have we settled in and found our new “normal” yet? Here in Utah, schools are closed until May and we aren’t even into April yet! It’s heartbreaking to see teachers and students everywhere long to be back in their classrooms.
Watching the news is crazy and full of negatives. During this time, let’s focus on the positives. Here are a few I’ve witnessed here in my community.
Teachers parading the streets their students to honk, wave, and say hi to them from a distance.
Students standing out in the rain and snow just to watch their teacher’s drive by.
Rainbows posted in windows throughout the neighborhood to remind us that after every storm, there will always be a rainbow and that it will be okay.
Copious amounts of incredible people on social media doing various things to keep our kids occupied and learning during this uncertain time. Storytimes, zoo tours, drawing lessons, free resources, and more.
Sidewalks chalked with uplifting, happy messages.
Teachers posting about how sad they are that they cannot be with their students right now, even though it may be spring break for some.
Virtual scavenger hunts.
More reading, more loving, and more time to slow down.
Right now, things are uncertain and difficult. It’s hard not to be with friends, it’s hard to be walking through the uncertainty each day brings, and it’s hard to navigate our own emotions while keeping up with our kids’ emotions as well. But we can do this. Look for the helpers, focus on the good, keep a positive attitude, and remember that rainbows always come after the storm.
I know you’re stressed, we’re all walking in uncharted territory right now. Schools shutting down left and right, or if your school is still open, very few students showing up each day. How do we help our kids? How do we help them not regress during this stressful time? How do we calm their nerves as well as our own?
It’s hard to be in the situation we are all in. It’s hard not to see your student’s faces every day, and have to worry about if they have enough food or if their behavior will regress (again) once they are back. So many variables for so many different situations.
Luckily, we’re all going through this together and there are resources out there for us! Our community is banding together and helping where we can. Here is a quick list of the fun things you can send home to your parents for your students to do during their time away from school.
Mo Willems is doing lunch doodles every day with kids. His first episode was 22 minutes long, his most recent episode was 27 minutes long. They are at 1 pm Eastern Time every day on YouTube, or they can watch them whenever they like later.
On Instagram, @macbarnett is doing a live read-aloud of his books every day at noon PST.
Cincinnati Zoo is doing a live video on their Facebook page each weekday at 3 pm Eastern Time. They will be highlighting their favorite animals and sending kids off to do an activity from home.
At nps.gov kids can download special interest books.
Our local library here in Utah is live-streaming their storytime on Instagram live every weekday at 11 am MST and a boredom buster for kids at 4 pm. You can follow them at @provolibrary
Utah’s Hogle Zoo is doing a Facebook and Instagram live every day at 11:30 am MST featuring their fun animals and educating them on each one.
Search around on every social media platform and you are certain to find a variety of posts and live videos geared towards educating kids because everyone can see the need right now. Also, a simple post to help parents make it through as well.
Other resources you most likely know as a teacher, but maybe haven’t mentioned to parents yet:
GoNoodle, Khan Academy, Newsela, National Geographic Kids, PBS kids, Starfall ABC app and Starfall.com, VOOKS, Virtual Field Trips, and Lucid Charts. Also, remind students they can still collaborate with peers via Google Drive.
Guys, we can do this. It’s going to be hard and uncomfortable for most, but we can band together amidst the chaos and confusion.
What other tips and resources do you have for parents and teachers? Let’s start a list together, we can go further with collaboration!
With schools across the nation shutting down for COVID-19 social distancing purposes, parents are left at home, many overwhelmed by keeping up with student’s needs for learning.
First, take a deep breath. There are resources and help out there for you, and I want to share my best tips with you as well.
Whether you have a newborn or a college student moving home, these basic principals apply.
Talk to your kids. Ask them their thoughts and feelings, tell them about your day and your thoughts and feelings. Comment on colors of objects or numbers around you. Have open, fun conversations.
Sing lullabies and I’m A Little Teapot, sing made up songs about washing hands, and throw a little Queen in there. Sing them songs.
Read picture books and chapter books. Read their favorite book and your favorite book. Read them magazines and online articles. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading, it just matters that you READ.
Write small journal entries about their day, write a book, write a sentence. Have them notice everyday life and write about it. Let them see the scientific method be put to use every day in the simple things like getting dressed or choosing a breakfast food, and write it down. Use a pencil, use a pen, use a computer, but all they need to do is put words together to make sentences. Or if they are younger, put pictures together to create a story!
Engage in real, genuine, play. Make pillow forts and cuddle on the couch. Just enjoy your time together and use your imagination.
No need to overcomplicate an already stressful situation. Just take it day by day, do your best, and wash your hands. You’ve got this!