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Navigating Back-To-School - A Teacher's Perspective

Posted by Kelsey McCormick on
Kelly OBranovic, Teacher & Lone Cone Brand Ambassador

As a teacher of twelve years, I will never forget the moment our governor announced the closing of schools. The week started as normal, and then slowly little rumblings started spreading through the school, administrators were warning teachers to be prepared to send home resources and work for students in the event we might need to close. In those few days, it’s quite possible, education changed indefinitely.

Quickly families began posting their home learning schedules, and setting up little work stations for their kids. In a moment's notice, we all adjusted and figured out a way to make it work, knowing it was only temporary. Well, so we thought. Here we are, beginning a new school year and many schools across the country are still closed for in person learning. The ones that are in person, have strict safety precautions in place and education looks a lot different. While this year will have its fair share of challenges, I feel there is a lot to celebrate. A door has opened. We now have the opportunity to step outside the box, think outside the systems and stop for a moment to reflect.

As a teacher, one of my goals is to make sure students understand why they are learning what they are learning. When kids know the impact this learning will have on their life in the future, they are far more likely to have what I like to call, “buy in.” They are willing to invest their precious brain space on the content you are delivering. A teacher, in some ways, is a salesman; convincing students to invest in new knowledge. So how do we get kids to invest in this time? How do we encourage them to use this time for good? And how, as families, do we find that balance between making a living and helping our children make a life?

I've put together a list of a few tips/tricks to make this time at home meaningful. In the spirit of the season, let’s call it a “Virtual Learning Bucket List.”

I often think about what it will be like to describe life to a child in 2020. It was something unimaginable to myself, just months ago. I recently read an article that said the time we spent, in quarantine, will all be a blur. We won’t really remember “what” we did. I find this interesting. In a time when the world is so unique and often even traumatic, we will somehow not remember? The article went on to talk about how we’d remember how we felt, more so than what we did. It’s a difficult time to be a parent. It’s a difficult time to be an educator and it’s a difficult time to be a child. Yet, we are all here, working together, rallying to support our families and students, creating moments

we might have never gotten otherwise.

Alone but together.

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