The past few days have brought about uncertainty for many. Schools, restaurants and community centers have closed. Church services have migrated online and people all over the country find themselves displaced- some, in their own homes.
Every challenge provokes opportunity. We are here to support you during this time and we are praying for a speedy road back to normal.
Here are 4 recommendations for championing children from a distance.
1. Stay in Touch
Although you no longer have the luxury of seeing those excited eyes or anxious grins in your school building right now, you should certainly do your best to keep in touch with students and families.
Designate a point person for answering phones. Becoming unreachable during this pandemic could create anxiety for your students and families.
Mail a card. The post office is STILL OPEN! Show students you care by sending them a card in the mail to let them know that you’re thinking about them and you’re staying as connected as possible.
Provide meals for students. Students and families rely on school breakfast and lunch programs. Make every effort possible to alleviate this burden on families. If providing meals is not an option, notify parents of local food banks, community partners and drive-thru restaurants that are providing free lunches for students during the extended school break.
2. Offer a sense of “Normalcy”
Students have been trained to follow schedules. Unplanned downtime can lead to boredom, disengagement, anxiety and halt the academic progress of students. Offer sample schedules for parents and families on your website or social media page.
See Sample preschool/kindergarten schedule
3. Take Advantage of Social Media
Although some families lack access to consistent internet or may not have a computer in the home, most families have a smartphone and social media of some sort. Social media can be used to engage with students and families.
Read stories to kids over Facebook or Instagram Stories
Post daily challenges, riddles or brain teasers centered around reading, math, science, art, etc. Use Google or social media platforms to collect responses from students. This could turn into a pretty cool competition throughout the next few weeks.
Consider long-term projects- Project Example: Identify a problem or need in your neighborhood. Develop a response to mitigate the problem. Include costs, timelines, an action plan and persons responsible for implementation.
Establish classroom Blogs and VLOGs (video blogs) to engage with students, families, post assignments, give feedback on student work, etc. Be sure to protect student privacy regardless of the platforms you’re using.
4. Keep teachers and staff member engaged:
Think about how much planning can be accomplished during this time. Engage teachers in planning processes around building relationships with students, deconstructing standards, creating or revising pacing guides and developing formative assessments (how will your school remediate students upon returning to classes?) We are available to assist you for current or future planning. For more information, contact us here.
Ask us about our Connecting to WIN: 10 Strategies for Building Influential Relationships and Improving Learning Outcomes in the Classroom VIRTUAL training session.
We are praying for your health, comfort, and peace during this challenging time. Please let us know how we can serve you better.