Shari Prest
ARK Associates

People are stunned (that could never happen here!) and confused (multiple mixed messages) by the pandemic the world is experiencing. COVID-19 presents a new way of teaching for most educators and an evolving way of learning for students. It is crucial that School District leaders develop and disseminate a communication plan outlining expectations for principals, teachers, students and parents.

Some examples of areas to be defined and communicated include:

  • Provide a clear and unified message to all stakeholders about how your school district is dealing with the crisis.
  • Encourage all stakeholders to regard online teaching and learning as an opportunity to refine new skills and increase independent responsibility for success.
  • Communicate to parents their important role in monitoring students’ online learning time and progress as well as their children’s social distancing.
  • Let parents know how instructional staff will communicate progress and/or pitfalls to parents.
  • Define expectations to teachers, including timely feedback to students and regular communication with parents.
  • Provide expectations for principal updates to parents and students about the strengths and potential pitfalls of online learning.
  • Make suggestions to students and parents about creative ways to marry learning and activity.

About Time at home

Parent-child time will change as online schooling for their children evolves. It is not “time off” for either parents or students. It is a bad time for children to hang out with friends at mall. This is an opportunity for the whole family to monitor and adjust. It is a bad time for children to go to the mall. Students may become bored full-time at home and it may be tempting for them to procrastinate on school work and/or succumb to screen time without an educational purpose. Following is a small snapshot of activities to promote interest and learning while “sheltering at home.”

  • Do school work together
  • Play games
  • Have trivia matches
  • Search out educational programming
  • Have family book discussions
  • Learn new skills together like measuring, baking, making nutritious meals with the food available, make a collage depicting how each person feels about “sheltering at home and keeping social distance”, etc.
  • Journal and if agreeable share journal reflections
  • Make and have meals together
  • Go for walks and explore nature areas
  • Plant and monitor seeds for spring
  • Evaluate commercials for content and intent
  • Students and parents engage in a “review time” each weekday evening may help to keep learning on schedule.

Quotes and Quotables

Opportunity Knocks

  •  “In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It’s their normal life. But in other part of the world, we are starving for education… it’s like a precious gift. It’s like a diamond.” – Malala Yousafzai
  • “When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves,” – Viktor E Frankl
  • “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” – John F. Kenn edy
  • “Every right implies a responsibility, Every opportunity, an obligation, Every possession, a duty.” – John D. Rockefeller
  • “The reward for work well done, is the opportunity to do more.” Jonas Salk
  • “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
  • “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Talk well of the absent whenever you have the opportunity.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
  • “Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity and the emotions to affect other people.” – Jim Rohn
  • “Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement. – Peter Drucker

Timely Quotes

  • “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” — anonymous
  • “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – picture
  • “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn

Timeless Quotes

  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • ”Many individuals have, like uncut diamonds, shining qualities beneath a rough exterior” – Juvenal
  • “If you compromise your integrity, you allow a little piece of your soul to slip through your hands.” – Egil “Bud” Krogh Jr (former co-chair of the Nixon Plumbers unit)
  • “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott
  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

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