The Online Corner: Tips for Back to School in a Pandemic
The Online Corner
The Online Corner, as appears in the September edition of https://dufferin.snapd.com/
Submitted by Sarah Clarke, Media Strategist and Founder of Dufferin Media
TIPS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL IN A PANDEMIC
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose” - Dr. Seuss
Back to School in a Pandemic
The fall of 2020 might prove to be the most overwhelming and confusing “back to school” period in our history. We are smack dab in the middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic, and though here in Dufferin County we are blessed with very low numbers, in other parts of the World the Pandemic wreaks havoc on our fellow humans.
Parents face decisions on whether to send their children to school, or keep them home for remote learning. Teachers are faced with new rules and regulations for teaching. Children are faced with very large emotions including fear, excitement, and confusion.
Whatever your situation is, and however you are feeling right now - it is OKAY. We are all entitled to our emotions, feelings, opinions, and decisions, and regardless of what you decide, if it is not the same as I decide, I support and love you as my neighbour and fellow human being.
TIPS FOR ONLINE LEARNING
If you have decided that back to school means keeping your children at home for distance learning - that’s great! It comes with it’s own challenges and I can offer a few suggestions to start the back to school year off that I found worked for my family when we were online in the spring:
- Have a regular weekly and daily schedule
- Have regular planned breaks and outdoor time
- Have a dedicated area for learning in your home - make it comfortable, cheery and inviting. Perhaps have your child help design this space
- Consider joining support groups or online learning cohorts
I had to be ready to be flexible and supportive of my children when they were learning online, and depending on the age of your children they might need more supervision from you or other adults in your household to be successful.
TIPS FOR BACK TO “REGULAR” SCHOOL
As a parent with a child in Elementary School, and one entering High School with the Upper Grand District School Board I must be completely honest. I am so confused. The plan to return to school is different for both age groups and continues to change. I know that the teachers and administrators are trying to do their best to come up with a plan that is best for all. I’m trying not to feel stressed about the unknown schedule, but it is hard as I am a very organized person. I am also very concerned about the possibility of a resurgence in cases. I think these are probably emotions we are all feeling. I look forward to the children being back into a routine, and being able to not only learn, but also return to seeing friends, and hopefully soon return to sports and extracurricular activities. For now I feel like it is a “wait and see” type strategy.
Regardless of your situation and emotions - please try to be positive, supportive, and encouraging to the children. Try to make this as normal and comfortable “back to school” as possible.
Until next month - please stay safe and healthy. I’d like to thank Victoria and the team at snapd for being such a powerful source of community information and positivity during these unprecedented times.