“Those of you quarantined without kids, how is it? Is it relaxing? Are there naps? Can you just do what you want all day? Talk dirty to me, tell me about the good times…” Long Island, N.Y., parent, Nicole Bruno.
We are not engaged in a virtual learning experience. It has been more accurately referred to as pandemic learning. To be clear, virtual learning takes place when teachers, leaders, and students can reflect on the best options to engage virtually and then go through a process where they learn what works and what does not. There is a great deal of planning and preparation that goes into virtual learning. Pandemic learning is when the opportunity for virtual learning is created overnight. The luxury of time to reflect on what works and what doesn’t work is nonexistent.
However, now that we are more than six weeks into it, teachers have gone through the 5 stages of grief. As we know, this is not a linear process, and we all take one step forward and two steps back. However, as hard as it may be, we have to find a way to keep making our way, albeit sometimes crawling like we are in one of those mud runs, toward acceptance. Besides finishing out the school year this way, and talking about virtual/pandemic summer school, we may be in this for the opening of the school year. Whatever the decision, we know we will be required to wear masks.
“OK, kids. Grab your coats and zip them up. Don’t forget your face mask!”
For additional clarity, most parents and caregivers are not home schooling. Home schooling is when those groups make a conscious choice to teach their children at home, and it often comes because of a fear for safety, religious reasons, or when parents are not content with the education their child is receiving in their local public school. What is happening now is a cross between home schooling and being a conduit of learning. That conduit of learning that parents are involved in is between the assignments teachers provide and making sure their children are engaging in the completion of those assignments.
Perhaps we can refer to it as pandemic home schooling?”
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