When the lockdown was first announced we were pretty much thrown into a state of shock, like everyone else. Although we already had initiated stringent sanitary practices (frequent), lengthy hand washing, elbows covering mouth when coughing, keeping all non staff at the door, restricting “outside shoes”, and introducing “inside shoes”, situating hand cleaners just outside each classroom entrance sanitizing everything repeatedly) we still had a lot to manage. My staff and I thought we had it handled- then the announcement.
When the decision had to be made to close school it felt as if the world stood still. The bottom had dropped out. But then a couple of parents thought of organizing a fun virtual circle time for the kids, and that was the beginning of what was to become a virtual day of teacher led circle, small group lessons, and a blossoming afternoon program. There was a serious learning curve, some practice sessions, scrambles to locate the current sign in (on time)…and now we have it down- or so it seems. Afternoons are filled with art, music and puppets, yoga, story time and science. So what started as a sincere attempt to give the parents things to do with the children, we’ve managed to give the children things to do so the parents have some time to work.
While it will never feel like the “norm”, it does feel solid- thanks to all the long hours our very dedicated teachers have put in and continue to do so- in order to keep the sessions fresh and engaging. As hard as it might be to imagine, this method of relating to the children is 10 times harder that having them in person- maybe 100 times!!!
We’re starting to look at re-entry now, trying to imagine what it will look like. They will certainly be carrying their own version of what the confinement was like. Has the novelty of having had all that time with their parents worn off? Can we get them back to “Normalcy”- or something closely resembling it, relatively soon? All I can say is: something that we know for certain is that children are resilient, their joy infectious, their teachers/Guides caring, dedicated, creative to the max and I trust we will all be just fine!