As an educator and as parents, ensuring that our children have what they need for school and their future can either be a grim or uplifting view. We have more control over how they succeed and what they contribute to their education than we realize.
Children need direction and leadership, but they also need the proper tools to succeed in their education. Here are just a few of the best ways to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Plan in Advance
It’s always a good idea to have a plan before initiating any kind of action. This is especially true now that we are knee deep into the COVID-19 pandemic, as we must have safe practices and strategies to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.
This means that there must be a determination early on as to whether you will be homeschooling your children or sending them to public school. If public school is the only option, or just what you prefer, then you will need to be in direct contact with the school and your child’s primary teacher so that you can get information on how things will be conducted. Without this resource, it will be hard to know what exactly is going on and what you can do to help expedite the process of safety and security for your child and everyone they come in contact with.
Ensure Rich Content
Due to distance learning becoming more prevalent among school-aged children, the educational process is evolving. This is to say that teachers and the superintendents that help to regulate learning and the material being absorbed are having to find new methods of getting the information out to students.
What is equally as important, however, is that the material is thorough and weighted. If the content isn’t rich enough for students, then this causes several issues. Children can become bored with school, and once this happens, they often lose interest altogether. If students ever experience this, it’s difficult to build that work ethic back to what it once was due to the lack of interest.
So, as educators and parents, we must ensure that our children and students are being equally as challenged as they would if they were in a traditional class setting. If we aren’t matching their wits with an educational platform that works for them, then we aren’t doing our job.
Discuss Technology Access
In today’s classrooms, computers are dominating the scene when it comes to how students learn and engage themselves. It also makes tasks easier to keep track of for teachers instead of having mountains of paperwork that can easily get misplaced. However, this causes a huge issue with learning and how access to this new equipment will be implemented for every student. We know that schools have the capability to assign students their own computers while at school, but with the pandemic, there has been more of a shift in how students are able to continually access technology, whether at school or at home.
This has put more strain on how schools invest in technology. Many schools have made the move to invest in more laptops that are being assigned to individual students for learning at home. This is so that they can get their assignments done at home and send them in as homework or projects that are assigned to them by their instructors.
But not every school has the endowment to work with to make this possible, which is why it is extremely important that we support our local schools, especially those that our children attend. Another issue is with the internet. It may be more plausible that teachers are having students save their work to either their computers or bring it in via thumb drive for the next school day.
A second option is to find a Wi-Fi hotspot somewhere in town, like the library, where you can access free internet to send off assignments. This also makes for a perfect place to study, but most children still require parental supervision for this.
Meet Basic Needs
More than anything, students need basic supplies to make their schoolwork happen. This means backpacks and school supplies, books, and anything else they may need to help support them while they are in school. These may be just basic needs, but they are the most important, as they are the framework for learning.
It can’t be reiterated enough that parents and family members should be involved with the schools that their children attend. It is imperative that parents form a bond with teachers early on so that there can be a stream of communication between both parties about the child that is being taught.
This way, they can come to understand where the student and child are at in their progress or the lack thereof. This will help to communicate what is best for them in their educational journey and what they need to succeed in every moment.
Support Mental Health
This pandemic has proven to be difficult in more ways than one. Most of the time, people look at the pandemic as merely a disease that we should hide and protect ourselves from, but it’s much more than that. It has taken hold of our everyday lives and how we socialize and interact with one another.
This leads us to an even greater problem that should be addressed as often as possible, and that’s mental and emotional health. If we aren’t ensuring that our children and students are mentally stable enough to take on working remotely and not having the social aspect through interaction with peers as often or at all from how life was before the pandemic hit, then this is a call for action. So, as parents and teachers, we need to keep a close eye on our students and children to keep them motivated and successful.
If we are taking on the responsibility to ensure that our children and students are successful in school, then this is a tall order for most people, but it is necessary for our children’s educational outcome.
This has been a list of the best ways to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic, although it is a basic list, so feel free to add or take away whatever you feel is best for your needs.