Hurray!! The kids will be home from school for a couple of weeks - Oh wait! They have been home since March. This year school break will look different for students and parents. I encourage you to put aside school books, close up the home classroom and for this brief moment in time enjoy your family as best you can.
Closing out the old year is usually a time of reflection. We think about the last year and make plans for how we want the next year to look. What 2020 has taught us is that our best plans may indeed not work out as we may have hoped. Not because of what we have or have not done but because of influences out of our control.
As an advocate, what I am experiencing is the real need for parents to examine and reflect upon is how the first half of this year has been for their child. My sincere hope is that school has gone well with the myriad combinations of in-person, remote, synchronous and asynchronous learning options.
What I am learning is that much of what is not working has gone somewhat underground. For older students especially the amount of work that has not been handed in for grades, classes (remote learning) have not been attended and quizzes and tests that have not been taken can be overwhelming.
Two weeks from the end of the marking period is not enough time to correct these omissions. Plan now for what needs to be different for your student going forward. Remote learning is a reality for our children.
1. Students who have difficulty attending class or paying attention should not be in an isolated environment. To the degree possible parents must have continual eyes on their student and on the laptop screen.
2. Multiple computers are a huge NO NO! This is not game time when the teacher gets boring. Your students' work area should not look like a NASA control room.
3. If your child has a phone and they can not control their usage - take the phone during instruction, give it back when the work is completed.
4. Have your child teach you how to monitor assignments, tests and other information. If they can not teach you they can not do it for themselves.
5. If necessary have the teacher email you daily your student’s attendance and missing work information. Make this a teaching moment - not a daily or weekly assignment for you.
6. If necessary discuss the possibility of asynchronous opportunities, to better fit your child’s learning needs.
I can not stress these points enough. School life is different. What the future holds is truly an unknown. We, as parents, need to support our children in the best way possible for whatever that future is.
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