Ways to Encourage Your School Community During Lockdown
The year 2020 has been a tough one for schools and their communities across the country. Lockdowns have closed school gates, forced learning online, and brought a lot of disruption and changes to educational life for students, their families, and the teachers and school administrators who usually serve them.
The Need for Uplift
All this disarray has left schools and communities feeling lost, rudderless, and even hopeless. This is especially true for students who are in the most formative and crucial years of their schooling, facing standardized testing and the journey to college admission. What these communities need is a set of ideas and strategies for encouraging students, families, and teachers to stay positive and productive in these challenging times.
One of the most unsettling things for anyone in a school community is to have no news of any kind for a protracted period. A communications silence creates its void of speculation and uneasiness that community members will fill with their fears and worst-case scenarios. Maintaining regular communication is crucial, even when you don’t have anything significant to report.
Share updates from the local, state, or federal government, especially health guidelines. You can also talk to parents about what you are doing to make your school ready for re-opening, what training and procedures you are putting in place, and more.
Keep Up Collaboration
Encourage teachers to meet online regularly to discuss and share new ideas for improving the online teaching experience. Since many teachers are home alone, the feeling of interaction and collaboration will keep them happy (and sane). The partnership will also quickly garner positive results to hone and improve your online education offerings.
Encourage Students to stay Active
Lethargy and forced sedentary lifestyles brought about by lockdown rules can be physically and mentally draining on students. Strong students may lose their academic edge through inactivity, and the constant confinement mixed with fear and concern can increase the risk of depression. Teachers should keep students busy and encourage extra-curricular projects as much as possible. Busy and productive students can feel like their time is not being stolen from them, and simultaneously maintain existing skills as well as develop new ones.
Share Ideas with Parents on How they Can Help
Parents are suffering from mane or all of the same effects as their kids during these locked downtimes. Schools should share their ideas with parents on how they can look after their kids’ physical and mental health, but also their own.
It would be best if you offered full support for any homeschooling that is happening because of lockdown. The prospect of homeschooling daunts many parents, but you can make it both bearable and useful for them by sharing resources, knowledge, and support.