During this time in our world and our own little space in the world, never have we been called upon to RETHINK AND RESHAPE our daily routines to navigate the ever changing horizon during the unprecedented pandemic known as COVID-19. Our daily lives have been impacted by this event in so many ways, from our “hanging out in social situations”, running to the local grocer, and attending school, just to name a few.
Attending school has become a different platform for different groups. School has become a place not just limited to the 4 walls of a building, instead students and teachers experience all sorts of platforms to share educational lessons. As I have began to journey down a new path of keyboards, techno language, and “distance learning platforms” I began to feel as a child would when they are immersed within a world of unknown and expect to follow the routine not familiar to them. Feelings of; confusion, frustration, anxiety, tiredness, and failure seem to creep into the way of learning new skills for teaching/learning. Can we imagine how this looks for the child who has been placed in the very environment that could present trauma filled situations on a daily basis?
As I am sure many teachers who work with students, who experience trauma, continue to hold those students near their hearts and have great concern as to how their mental/emotional health are holding up. Teachers are thinking; how is Johnny coping with the emotional abuse, physical abuse, etc. (not witnessed by others outside the home). Who, if any, are his “safe people and places” to go for support? Is the child able to retreat to a comfort zone for recharging their feelings? Has the child been able to work through not being able to see their teachers, etc. from school? How much longer will distance learning take the place of a classroom?
Let us not forget the teachers and staff and their emotional well being. What are teachers doing to seek self care during this pandemic? How are teachers wading through all sorts of resources, curriculum maps, and standards and remain focused; “I teach each and every child and am here for them during this time.”
As teachers we must rethink and reshape our teaching mindsets to navigate the new horizon of “school” and the children we so dearly love to see each day.
As we “RETHINK TO RESHAPE” our classroom model we also need to keep in mind the child that suffers immense trauma and how will we reach them. Their homes will look way different than a child’s home that is filled with love and care from their parents. A trauma filled home may contain very little technology for children to access their educational needs. Their parents may have a smart phone or tablet and yet NOT make it a priority for the child to gain educational resources. The family dynamics may lend itself to drugs/alcohol, domestic abuse, and other traumas that block the way for a child to learn.
How can we ensure those children gain educational resources? How will the educational presentations look for them? Do we modify and accommadate their needs or do we have the mindset “one curriculum fits all”?
The new school year is inching closer. How will you, the teacher create that special place to learn; either classroom or distance learning scenarios?
How will you “RETHINK TO RESHAPE” your classroom to ensure you reach every child who comes from so many diverse backgrounds and environments? How will you assist your students through the many pages of this story so they may meet success; school and emotional health?