When schools abruptly closed due to Covid-19, teachers everywhere were given a new challenge—supporting students from home. This Teacher Appreciation Week, we at Teachstone want to celebrate the teachers impacting families and say thank you to teachers everywhere.
Here are a few thoughts from some of our team on the impact teachers are having on their families' lives.
I find myself with my last child in the 12th grade, having had 3 go through the education system, and while I recognize it's been devastating for 12th graders this year, who look forward to completing their education through high school as a milestone shared by most Americans, it truly is only a few months of disruption and "virtual" schooling of what has been, for my family, many years of outstanding "on-the-ground" schooling.
I shout-out to each teacher - who gives so much more than any of us realize, unless and until we are in the classroom each day- who has cared and loved my children and been there for them.Some of the most poignant life lessons from our family's teachers are these:
I celebrate especially the gentle kindness of a teacher telling me that while my son wasn't writing the most book reports in 4th grade, his recognitions and celebrations of his friends' accomplishments in writing were also powerful signs of development - albeit perhaps not in the area of writing but rather social-emotional learning! -Amy Cubbage
On any given school day, we entrust our teachers to provide education, encouragement, support, connection, challenge, and blind love to our children. This immense responsibility is largely thankless as it is assumed, "part of the job.”
Here we are in the times of COVID-19, and our teachers are on the front lines of one of our country’s most affected populations- not necessarily in health or quarantine, but in socio-emotional loss. Our country’s youth, and future.
We are, without training or forewarning, asking our teachers to provide a curriculum that reaches to every student, at every individual learning level, in every singular home, on any given school-day. Without hesitation, our teachers have risen to the occasion to provide the most valuable continuation of normalcy that COVID students could possibly know- school.
We should be grateful endlessly for the commitment and flexibility of our teachers- for their tireless work of our past, and fearless look on our future. -JJ and Helen Cohoon
My 7 year old daughter's school has worked so hard to keep her feeling connected while at home. Every week she meets via Zoom with her teacher, gets to read a book to her assistant teacher, and has a virtual class meeting. Beyond that, they post daily Morning Meeting videos and lessons ranging from phonics to art that she can choose from.
Her favorite thing so far has been the car parades they do. She puts on her school shirt, decorates the driveway, and anxiously awaits the line of cars filled with her favorite teachers. I know how hard all of that must be to make happen and I truly appreciate it. -Liz Savage
Meriwether's school is doing ALL KINDS of incredible things for parents. One example: One of the teachers offered to do video observations. I sent her about 5 minutes of video of me doing a puzzle with Meriwether and she gave me feedback on my interactions! It was soooo cool to have offered to me the very thing we promote through our services, and I received wonderful encouraging affirmation and food for thought. It made me see things I hadn't before!
The most powerful feedback she offered me was this: "At the end, when she says "mama box?", you inferred that she wanted you to put the pieces in the box for her. I was thinking that she was having so much fun putting them in (collecting things in containers is a huge schema for toddlers) that she wanted you to join her. Maybe not! Anyway, she seemed content to move on to the next thing!" -- What a kind, specific, actionable nudge to totally rethink an assumption I routinely make about what my daughter needs from me. -Marielle Sheridan
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to my wife Heather, or H as I call her. She has taken on the role of Montessori teacher for Afton and Hazel during our current situation. She is doing amazing in this new role, all the while working on getting her masters in education and maintaining her 4.0 GPA. I am proud of the teacher, mother, best friend, wife and human you are, and I love you to the moon and back. - Justin Underwood
In closing, thank you, teachers! Thank you for your commitment to your students. Thank you for your passion. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your meaningful interactions with students. You matter so much and we're so grateful for all that you do!
Teachers everywhere have yet another new challenge—supporting students and their families from home. We know that high-quality interactions, including interesting, hands-on experiences that are facilitated and supported with feedback, scaffolding, and higher-order thinking questions, best support young students' learning. So how do you help your students' caregivers offer the same high-quality interactions while at home? Well, Rachel Giannini has some super fun ideas to share! The following are ideas she shared during her session at our recent InterAct CLASS Summit.
Before the 2019 InterAct Class Summit in Nashville was even over, we were already excitedly planning 2020! But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's take a quick look back at the incredible presenters, attendees, and staff that made 2019 possible. We had nearly 400 participants from all backgrounds—teachers, caregivers, mentors, coaches, trainers, implementation leaders, administrators, assessors, researchers, and more. However, their common passion for improving classroom interactions and empowering life-changing teachers was evident.
Teachstone is celebrating Week of the Young Child hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We'll be posting articles, videos, activities, and more all week on Facebook and Twitter.
For Tasty Tuesday, we've found a few healthy recipes for every mealtime, including dessert. These recipes are easy to assemble and make, and your early learners can help out as well. What are your favorite healthy recipes?
I have a confession to make—I'm a social media junkie. I had to go through a 12-step program to cure my Facebook habit. I had a short relapse, but I was able to kick it again. I tried Twitter years ago, but that just wasn't for me. Pinterest is just straight up evil. I've planned two weddings, a total remodel of a home, and a trip to Hawaii. None of these things is ever going to happen, but Pinterest has robbed me of about 400 hours of time that I put into these nonexistent projects. Instagram is one of those things that I can take or leave.