We want to help students leave begin this unusual experience of being homebound with the best outlook possible. As adults in their world, we have all kinds of concerns. Some of our students depend on food from school. Some have parents who will be frustrated, frightened, and will be struggling with issues we can’t even guess yet. So the first thing is for us to think about what we can offer these students to help them prepare themselves.
It is important to establish a framework to prepare students for at-home learning.
Provide support, ideas, activities and guidelines for parents.
Kids will do better if their parents can manage better. Figure out how you’ll have ongoing contact with parents including those who may not have internet access from home. Let them know you’ll continue to be in touch with them and that you’ll send ideas for a activities and coping strategies as you are able to find them. CMI will have a page dedicated to this and we’ll be fielding Zoom calls for both school staff and for parents so we can continue to support one another and share ideas. We’ll help you as much as we can with these ideas.
Brainstorm ideas about what kids can be doing to help.
We all feel better when we can do something. In one neighborhood, an older elementary student bought alcohol and aloe vera and empty bottles. She filled the bottles with home-made hand sanitizer and set up a table with a “Take one for free” sign. Just an example of how one child is feeling empowered because she is doing something for others. So look for suggestions that don’t take contact with others, but might be uplifting or helpful.
Allow students to talk about sharing their experience when they get back.
Sharing this anticipation before students go home allows you also to plant the seed of anticipation of how happy you’ll be to see them when school opens again.