As more and more schools and business close temporarily due to the Covid-19 outbreak, I wonder what will be the permanent effects of this outbreak. Not economically, although that too will affect our children by possibly changing their home environment, socioeconomic status, and family stress all contribute to a child’s home life and development. What will schools and teachers learn from this experience? My hope is that teachers with maladaptive practices, being so forced out of their comfort zone and having to think outside of the box grow themselves. For middle childhood, elementary and middle school students, the lack of communication and peer to peer collaborative learning experiences will be detrimental. Luckily many teachers will be sharing online resources and frantically searching for ways to provide opportunities for virtual collaboration but what about the ones who don’t?
The formative assessments teachers use to guide their teaching and determine what misunderstanding their students have will be nonexistent for weeks. Any work that students are able to turn in during this time doesn’t give a teacher true insight into the student’s learning being that the possibility that the child really struggled and had help from mom, dad or older siblings. Not that parental assistance is wrong but a child’s true ability and where they struggle might not be as apparent to the teacher. Parental assistance could also add stress to their child causing lack of motivation, and negative attitude toward learning (yes there should for as long as possible be a POSITIVE attitude toward learning-it’s kind of the goal that helps them achieve success). Parents can also put pressure on teachers who are already rushed to find better ways to teach and reach their students adding to possible negative effects. What about the positive aspects of this event?
The possible outcome that teachers continue to go above and beyond what’s required of them and to find ways to enable their students to continue their learning paths from home would be a tremendously positive effect. Another positive effect possible, is the forcing normally rushed and busy families to slow down. There’s no sports, no after school commitments, no working till 6 then picking your kids up from after school programs-enabling more time with the family. More time rather to argue about getting off electronics, but also causing parents to really look at what their kids are doing online and taking advantage of many free options available for online educational resources.
Humanity seems to always come through, just look at the Italians all singing outside their balconies for example. We will creatively find ways to connect with one another, hopefully we will also find ways in which our children can still connect with one another. Not all of us have given the privilege of owning a phone to our kids and many are just still very young. I myself, two days in am well aware I need to stick to a schedule or I will grow lacks in life. For teachers, our classroom is our second home-it’s really difficult for me to not wake up and go into my classroom every morning (even when we were all just waiting for spring break to arrive). This is not a break, (summer really isn’t a break either but that’s a soap box for another time) this is a time we worry about how this will affect our students academically and for us early childhood educators-how it’s going to effect the child as a whole, socially, physically, psychologically. Many teachers have taken to social media to help parents and their students by sharing ideas and resources. The most important thing for all (educators and parents) is to be patient and understanding with one another so that we can all grow and learn from this experience in a positive way.
Link to parent survey for my study on this-
Jessica King (teacher)
Fine Motor Skills