School has been in full swing as the school year has started with many anxieties and fears regarding Covid 19. School administration and teachers are left in a chaotic humbug as they try to work around health guidelines as it pertains to the virus.
Many schools are already reporting cases of teachers and children in North America who have contracted the virus since the reopening of schools. Despite school boards’ best intentions in trying to get classes ready and internal spaces for social distancing, it will be an uphill battle. Many schools are overcrowded, also many schools are already underfunded and their budgets cut in half.
Let us face the realities that Covid will be with us for some time. Schools are always the last to receive any assistance and this is apparent right across the globe. It is a sad admission but one that rings true and if you an educator like myself you will know exactly what I am talking about.
Therefore teachers, parents, and school administrations will need to join forces in order to keep our children safe. Let us be operation Covid as we can and will come through this if we work together.
agents form a committee with your class teachers and find out what is it that they need. Choose a class leader and get that parent to reach out to other parents, delegating things needed for the class or anything that needs to be done.
If the school allows it and parents or guardians who can volunteer, then they should bear in mind social distancing protocols. In a class that is large having a volunteer who is able to come in on certain days can be of great help. With extra help a class can be divided into groups for certain lessons or activities.
Parents and teachers can also brain storm together how to get donations from community groups, or even athletes or corporation who are willing to help with resources to keep children safe in and out of class at school. Take an inventory of what is needed in the class or school to keep children safe.
I believe that many persons are willing to help and they will if when asked. Both parents and teachers make a note of what is needed for a successful year, for example, do you need partitions, sanitizers, wipes, etc. How will the classroom be cleaned each and by this I am not talking about a deep cleaning? I mean the things teachers would do at the end of their class like putting books away, toys and mobiles or learning instruments. These will now need to be sanitized at the end of each school day.
The target should be more rigorous for the younger children from grades 3 to Kindergarten. It is especially harder for them to social distance as somethings are abstract to them. Trying to explain Covid to younger children can be daunting at times.
Try to take it to their level. Talk about their stuffy or favorite toy and what would happen if their toy got sick. Build on different scenarios. Incorporate and simplify what is happening in the news about Covid, and speak to children about it. Ask them to tell you how they are feeling. Let them share as a class what they are doing to help stop the virus. Parents and teachers can work together so that children hear the same thing as it pertains to the virus.
Have daily classroom routines of children sanitizing and washing their hands. Even using a Stuffy or doll each day as a class mascot. Let the class give the mascot a name and check in at certain times of the day to make sure the mascot is following all Covid protocols. Repetition works best with young children therefore do not stop repeating all the guidelines of what is needed when they have to use the bathroom, or to wear their mask and so on.
We can do this. Yes, we can and will, but it is going to get really bad before it gets good. My fellow teachers and educators, this can be a thankless profession, but we never chose this career for fame or money. It was to serve and guide young minds.
Like many of our students that have passed through our hands, we will get another generation through this. Later on, they will reminisce about school life during this invisible enemy that have claimed so many. They will be grateful whether or not you are around for them to personally express it to you. We are at war with this virus but with proper strategies and armed with Science we can combat this.
Parents be good to your teachers. Remember they are carrying a heavy load just like all our frontline workers, and likewise teachers be gentle to your parents, as they also under stress and are fearful. Let’s build bridges and not walls. We will need to work together and not rely on our political leaders. Reach out and support each other. Also feel free to reach out to me through this blog for support or even just to share ideas.
Together we are stronger and we will overcome. Let us keep our children safe as they are our future.