All across the nation people are social distancing as a result of COVID-19, which means the second half of the 2019-20 school year has moved online. If they’re lucky some parents have the option of working from home. Others have to leave the home for work, and others have lost their jobs. Kids now have to do their schooling online.
Things are not the same as they were. People are stressed, scared, and upset. Kids are having to do chores, look after younger siblings, and maybe even work to help support the family. School isn’t going the look the same as it always has. It’s new territory for teachers and students. Districts may be pushing to keep schedules and instructional time as if nothing has changed. It won’t work.
What is School Really About?
School is not just about instructional time, rigor, and standards. It’s about human connection. It’s the place where kids see their friends and socialize. It may be the only place they eat that day, or the only place they feel safe. That has been taken away from them. They need a break, and so do teachers. Everybody is having to navigate uncharted waters. Keep in mind, that education should be about the students, not the curriculum. Let them know you’re thinking about them. Ask how they’re doing. They should know they are more important than school grades, or end of year testing, or graduation rates, or any other metric we use to calculate the “usefulness” of school that ends up being not so important in the long run.
Here’s a little infographic my wife and I prepared about how to approach our current situation. It’s not about “how to” use Zoom, or how to continue that big unit you’ve had planned, or what online learning platform us should use. It’s just some things to keep in mind while you’re doing all of that.by