To Our Students:
We love you and have NOT deserted you. We are all being asked to do things to help keep everyone healthy. Some of things are fun, and some are not so fun. This will be over soon. Remember we love you.
- We think about you every day!
- Your family might be a little stressed right now. That is COMPLETELY NORMAL. Kind of like when your tummy hurts when you do something new, like before you take a test or maybe present to your class. Remember our breathing exercises? Show your family! You can be the teacher.
- YOU might feel a little worried, anxious, or even scared. Your tummy might hurt, your head might hurt, or you may feel a little down. Know what? Completely normal. This is all new to us! YOU are SAFE. This is not a permanent situation.
- Remember to ask questions and share how you are feeling. Talk to the adults in your family and talk to your teachers. Keep a diary or a journal and write everything down. Asking for help and sharing your feelings is a sign of STRENGTH.
- Remember your school schedule? It will feel better if you get up at the same time that you usually get up for school. Take a shower, eat breakfast, and do some school work. Make sure you are going to bed at the same time. Make sure you are doing just a LITTLE gaming. Your family may be limiting your time online, and THAT IS OK. Remember, families sometimes impose boundaries you may not love. That is their job. Just like we have rules at school.
- Are you getting outside? Ask your family if you can spend some time outside. Do the warm-ups and exercises you have learned in P.E. See how many times you can run around your home in 5 minutes. Or show your family all the GoNoodle songs you love. Did you know you can learn yoga or martial arts online. You can!
- Look for the helpers. Do you see people doing kind things? What can YOU do? Can you write happy letters to your friends, neighbors, or teachers? Can you draw pretty pictures to send to nursing homes? Can you read to your younger siblings? Help your family by cleaning your home? Helping others make us feel better.
You are loved, you are safe, and we can’t wait to give you a hug soon!
To Our Parents:
- You are doing the best you can do in this moment. We all are. It is ok.
- No teacher anywhere expects YOU to teach children and make sure all content is covered exactly as your trained teachers would do. Do the best you can. We will lovingly accept them back with whatever they have accomplished WITH NO JUDGEMENT. Whatever is getting accomplished is OK.
- You need to focus on your work, your household, and your children. We get it.
- Your children are watching your every move. Take a deep, deep breath. Your main job is to help keep things calm, keep to a schedule and routine, and love your children.
- Did I mention routine? They might complain, but kids thrive on routine. Have a daily schedule. Wake them up as normal, have your daily routine, eat together, and have an reasonable bed time. They may complain, but I promise this will help immensely.
- No matter how you try to hide this stress, they see it. Hold them, reassure them, and love them. Let them ask questions. Reassure them that they are safe and you are safe. “People are just taking lots of precautions to keep everyone safe.” Be watchful over what they are watching (news, online chat).
- Remember that family time is essential right now. Cook with them. Read to them. Tell them stories about “when you were little”. Teach older kids how to do laundry. Teach them how to do simple cooking. They will always remember the time you spend with them during this shut down.
- Be gentle with each other, including your teachers. You may have one child whose teacher is over-the-top nailing it, and another who is seemingly lacking. We have never taught from home before. We had no notice and no training. We, too, are simply doing the best we can. Be gentle with each other. We will get through.
To Our Staff
Whatever you have set up for families, whatever you are doing right now....it is ok. If you are worried about your students and families and reaching out, you are doing what you can do in this moment.
2. Whatever your colleagues are doing...it is ok. Some will seemingly do "less", and some will seemingly do "more". It is ok. The point of education is not to equalize adult worlds, especially right now. Feel good about what YOU are doing.
3. Your messy new teaching world is ok. You may teach with a teething child on your lap. Your dog may throw up and pause a lesson. Your background in your house may be messy. The new normal will be very, very different. It is ok.
4. Your students will certainly NOT give you their best right now. It is ok. They are watching their families in incredible stress and uncertainty. Their main focus might simply be to get through each day. Let them soak in some normalcy and comfort that you will provide.
5. When and if they return this school year, love them and reassure them. Yes, many will seemingly be "behind". Many might seem "not quite ready" for next year. It will be ok. It is not the time to cram 3 months into a few weeks. This is likely to be one of the most traumatic events of their little lives. Just. Love. Them.
This is an opportunity to help each other, support each other, connect with students and families in unique ways, and simply do the best you can for all children. It will be ok.