I'm hearing from colleagues, family members, close friends, and educators around the globe that they are worried about students not getting enough instructional time right now while schools are closed due to the Corona virus. Parents are stressed. Teachers are overworked. Kids are confused. And we're all just trying to figure this out while it's happening (very quickly)!
The biggest concern from teachers is about the kids they aren't hearing from on online platforms or through other means of communication. What are they doing? Are they learning? What's going on? And how can I help?
Guess what...students are learning a lot at home. We might just have to help families refine daily practices a little. So here's what I suggest.
If you are noticing that a student doesn't seem to be showing up online, they may be having trouble with technology. Even if the district has provided a device and free internet, the family may be struggling with how to use the platforms, how to navigate the system, or may be worried about safety issues with using platforms that are being offered. No matter the circumstances, honor the reality. We are all in different places. Let's move past that and meet families where they are.
Offer families low tech or no tech ways to continue supporting their child's learning. There is no way we can replicate what instruction was like face to face. So we aren't going to try. But what we can do is give families and students tools to take what they HAVE and use those to build LANGUAGE and learn in authentic ways together. Every moment can be a teachable moment even at home.
Many families are doing these things with their kids or they would be open to doing them. They often just need the suggestions. Families, like us, are overwhelmed right now. When learning feels authentic and part of everyday life, it's more readily going to happen.
Stay well, everyone.