Preparing Our Kids For School
It’s a stressful time for parents no matter what you are doing about school. Our kids are feeling our anxiety and I want to do everything possible to help them with that. So, we brought in an expert on the subject. A teacher. This week on the podcast, we had Mariah Morris, North Carolina’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. Mariah has been teaching for over 10 years and is passionate about expanding STEM education opportunities to underrepresented students. She spoke to us about what we can do as parents to help our kids navigate this weird school year.
Mariah told us that teachers are equally excited to be with their students but also concerned about health and safety. “Not only are we building the airplane as we are flying it, but we have no idea how it’s going to land,” Morris explained. We have no idea if this will change tomorrow or how long it will last, but we can change our attitude. Mariah shared how important it is that we monitor ourselves and how we talk about the school year. Our kids pick up on our anxiety and stress if we have these conversations in front of them.
Setting Expectations With Your Kids
If your kid is going back to the classroom, show them a video of how the school year will look for them. A lot of schools are posting videos online or you can find them on YouTube. Have your child practice wearing a mask so they have one that feels comfortable to them. If your child is going back to pods, talk to them about being with other kids that might not be best friends. While it is a pushout of their comfort zone, it can also be a unique experience to spend time with kids they might not have before. If you are staying home, walk them through a normal day schedule. Find creative ways to help your kids connect with their friends they won’t be able to see.
Additionally, Morris hopes that this new normal encourages a push towards competency-based education so that students aren’t judged for their patience to sit in front of their screens for several hours in a row. She hopes parents will have grace with their children’s teachers as we all learn this new way together. If you can, ask them how you can help or if there is an Amazon wishlist you can donate to. It’s important in a time like this for teachers to feel supported.
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