It seems like we all have a lot on our plates as we adjust to life amidst a global pandemic. Hands up if you can relate?!
Yet, despite all the uncertainty and the juggling of all the many responsibilities, we are all doing amazing things for kids! There are incredible stories from across the district of how people are supporting each other.
Even when what we are doing is amazing, we can still feel a little overwhelmed and like we could benefit from extra support and TLC from our communities. As we are experiencing our way into finding what works best for ourselves and for our students, continually checking in with students and families can help us to see how this pandemic is impacting their lives. Once we know this, we can better understand how the shift to remote learning is affecting them, and what we can do to continue wrapping around all of our learners.
When we have ongoing conversations with our students and families, we can:
help them feel connected, valued, and heard;
uncover hidden needs that we won’t necessarily see by connecting in other ways;
get a clear idea of what is happening for our students and families;
have a chance to ask and hear how our students and families are feeling about this situation and about their learning;
get some feedback from our students about what is going well and what could be changed to help them be more successful;
and determine which students might need more support at this time so we can connect with other educators who can help us. These educators include Resource Teachers, Learning Assistance Teachers, Counsellors, Indigenous Advocates, Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, CEAs, and Administrators.
When we understand the complexities of each other’s lives, we can wrap around each other and design our remote learning practices in ways that honour all the different places that people are at in ways that don’t overwhelm, but instead, lift people up. As well, if we maintain relationships with students and families, they might feel more comfortable to join or rejoin the learning when they are able to.
There is no one right way to do this, but making it a priority to better understand the different people in our community (colleagues, families, students) seems like a good place to start.
If this is an intention that you have also set for yourself, here are some resources to help support you as you continue to connect with students and families.