Below are a few of the education stories we've bookmarked recently.
With many schools closed for the rest of the academic year, many people find themselves asking the same question, what will schools look like when they’re open? Michael Mulgrew, the head of the New York City teachers union, the United Federation of Teachers explains, “A school building is not what you would call an ideal place in the middle of a pandemic. How do you make sure there's a plan in place to make sure the people walking in are not spreading anything?” Reporter Anya Kamenetz from NPR takes a look at the future of schools and what reopening might look like for teachers and students.
While transitioning to distance learning can come with many challenges, teachers share with Hechinger Report that maintaining relationships with students is a top priority, but this isn’t easy. “My biggest worry is the kids I’ve gotten no response from. I’m calling and emailing them constantly,” shares Karen Rose of New Rochelle High School. Educators, in addition to experts from the Harvard School of Education and nonprofit Turnaround for Children, weigh in on how to navigate the student-teacher relationship during the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools in Utah have found a creative way to keep students and their families engaged during school closures—hosting social-distancing school parades. For students, the gesture is a joyful boost as they see their teacher drive by and call their name. One educator added, “Since the parade I’ve heard from two parents who hadn’t had any communication with me before, and I got more work turned in today (Thursday) than any other day since the schools were closed. I had no idea the parade would have such a positive effect on both students and teachers.”
How can educators foster students’ social-emotional skills when they aren’t in class together? Education Week recently interviewed experts to discuss how teachers can teach students SEL skills to help them cope during this difficult time. “If you don’t know how to deal with the lack of control of your future, or the feelings of uncertainty that you’re having, your brain is going to stay in a constant fight or flight mode….And if our brain is in fight or flight mode, then it’s not in learning mode.”