I know everyone keeps using the term unprecedented and it might be annoying – the more I think about it, the more I don’t even know what it means (is it even a real word?). Anyway, we are in an unprecedented situation. And you have been thrown into learning at a distance/digital/online/whatever. And it is weird. And kind of scary. Liberating for some (even if lonely) and overwhelming for others. But, now more than ever, it is important to keep on keeping on – we will get through this.
HERE ARE MRS. C’s TIPS TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD:
- A Schedule. You Need One. NOT a strict hour by hour one, but a general, get up in the morning (maybe even get dressed), don’t stay up till 3am and sleep until noon…. Think about when you will be learning – morning with a break after lunch? mostly after lunch? maybe in the later afternoon after you’ve helped other little people in your house do stuff? Also consider how you are sharing devices and/or wi-fi with others who need access.
- Creative Online Access. If parents are working from home or siblings need computer time too, you might have to consider what you need big access for and what can be accomplished on your phone. Get creative and don’t procrastinate waiting for perfect conditions – they may never arrive.
- A Support Network. Push your friends, let your friends push you. Be that friend who doesn’t buy into apathy and reminds your friends “take a break, take a quick walk, get back at it.” Get together on zoom calls or fb video message or even just a group chat. Check in on your friends, laugh a little, work a little, try for balance. Don’t have a real group of friends? (Some of us are introverts or loners by nature.) Lean on your WRITE CLUB group (or in English 8 even the people you got to know in your BOOK CLUB) – you should have enough rapport now to support one another.
- Perspective/A New Mindset. Instead of mourning what we’ve lost in face-to-face classtime (and it’s okay to grieve what your losing here), try thinking of the opportunity you have to try out online coursework. Do the best you can with the situation and then you can walk away from it knowing if you want to take online college classes in the future or if on campus classes will be better for you. You won’t know if you don’t try.
- Get Interested. I can’t do anything to make calculus more fun for you (sorry, Ms. Albrecht), but I can tell you that for your MG project, it will all get better once you pick a topic you really can dive into and you put your creative efforts into researching and creating. You can use this project as a way to escape.
I’m not gonna pretend that I can fix all this for you or that I even have all the answers. Right now, know your teachers are grappling with how best to move forward also. But I’ve done many of the above and they seem to help.
I get up each morning, get dressed, take care of some school stuff. I take breaks to help my own kids and just to read, take a walk, play with the dog, enjoy a game on my phone, etc. Then I get back to work to complete what else needs to be done – respond to email, check your Google responses, monitor the Flipgrids, etc. We tried to set up workspaces for each person in our house to have a place to work (I’m working from home along with a 6th grader, a 10th grader, and a college junior who is now home and doing all her work online for the rest of the semester. My husband is an essential healthcare provider, so he still goes to work each day, being cautious and avoiding exposure to COVID-19 the best he can). I’ve got a support network of some local teachers, teachers I’m friends with on Twitter and even some teachers who are providing daily online talks for free on fb and YouTube. I’m trying to embrace the challenge of figuring out how to make this MG project doable in an online-only format while not overwhelming y’all. And in the process, I’m staying interested in what you are accomplishing and how you are responding to this whole situation. (As I write this, I just love seeing your names pop up on my computer as you change documents in Dropbox.)
I know it feels uneventful to stay at home, but the experts say this is our best course of action. Stay well, stay put, and keep learning.
-Mrs. C = )
P.S. If you need me, I am here.