My husband and I have no children, only our fur baby who has taken to social distancing from us because we love and pet her too much [Reminder to self: Adopt a needier dog next time].
Therefore, we have the luxury and privilege of coaching sports, mentoring kids, teaching Sunday School, and taking naps; that means that we only have a submicroscopic understanding (and that’s being generous) of how difficult it must be for parents and teachers to educate and stimulate learning, particularly during these stay-at-home orders.
So, what does a completely unknowledgeable non-Mom do to garner ideas to support my students and mentees? Google, of course!
Finding yourself in a situation where you need to teach kids subjects you don’t remember even learning? Seeking new ways of connecting with your students? Check out Grantmakers for Education. It lists plenty of charities, foundations and resources for teachers and students. With Share My Lesson, teachers can make their lesson plans widely available. They can even create plans tailored specifically to the COVID-19 situation when parents may need to take a larger role in engaging students.
Want to support education in our new normal? Check out private organizations like the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, which has stepped up to the plate, offering support for families and educators through crowdfunding organizations like DonorsChoose, where everyday people are able to provide meaningful support to help children in their communities keep learning. By listening to the parents and teachers on the ground share their everyday issues, they are able to respond in real time, making the process of education more frictionless.
Finally, education isn’t just about reading, writing, and arithmetic. Physical education continues with help from organizations like the NBA and WNBA, that have produced videos to help kids stay fit at home. In addition, enrichment activities like museum and aquarium tours are available online. In fact, the Chicago Aquarium filmed their own penguins touring the aquarium. Incredibly cute to see the penguins reacting to the other animals. Opportunities to see moments like this would have never happened if not for this extraordinary shutdown – an interesting and educational silver lining, is it not?