COVID-19: being a parent, becoming a teacher

COVID-19: être parent, devenir enseignant

In normal times, the parents make a lot of efforts and imagination to offer the best to their children : sports coaches, motivators, psychologists, cooks, nurses, the list of roles is long. Since a few weeks, the planet lives at the time of the global pandemic of the COVID-19, forcing governments to restrict travel, to claim of the entire population, or almost, to stay home. A new function comes to add to their list : that of teacher.

Some parents already practice, by choice or by necessity, the home school, but the present situation is unprecedented : overnight, all the schools have closed their doors, interrupting without notice to the school year. The children therefore find themselves confined to their homes, with relatives some of whom discover telework, while others, unemployed, forced, and worry for their future… and that of their family. How to maintain the education of our young people in this context of anxiety and turmoil ?

Keep calm

Children need security, and they are also shaken as we are by the present situation. This security, it comes in large part from the parents. Because adults, unlike them, are capable of distance to the events. It is true that all parents already have a lot on my shoulders, but their state of mind and their general attitude in the face of crisis will have a big impact on the emotional safety of children.

Have realistic expectations

Nobody asks you to transform you into a perfect teacher of mathematics or history. Opportunities for learning can also occur outside of the school context. And remember that for all types of activities, attention to children sometimes proves to be very limited – their teachers are on to something ! And trust them when it comes time to make up class time lost.

Multiply the opportunities of learning

The home can become a place full of things to learn and discover. And there are a thousand things to do so that she is well maintained ! This is the opportunity for the children to put hand to the dough and put to use the skills of each one. Vary the teaching activities, intellectual and playful. You can learn to calculate by preparing a grocery list, making a cake, or sorting the dirty laundry ! Through these tasks – even taking out the trash or clean up his room ! – and especially during this extraordinary period, all of them are the learning benefits of self-help. Hence the interest to multiply the gestures of empathy toward others, especially our elders : a call routine, the reading aloud, a craft or racing, it often makes all the difference.

Maintain a routine

Rather than hourly, let’s talk about routine. This is what children need, especially at this time. In the chaos, maintain a minimum of activities and rituals as predictable as appointment enjoyable. Others will be less, but it is also, school !

To read and write, a little every day

Read every day is an excellent way for youth to cultivate their interests, and maintain their skills. Avoid, however, required reading if one wants to encourage them to read : the comic strip for the magazine of sports, or the biography of an idol, that all genres are allowed. A good part of Scrabble. The writing deserves the same attention, for example by writing a personal journal, a privileged space to express their emotions, but also summarize the information obtained on the current crisis, or simply a review of the family activities of the day.

And the most important…

Every crisis is an opportunity for change and learning. At the end of this epic, let’s not forget that the mental health of our children will be more important than their academic skills during this downtime. Let us also remember that the context of this particular will run good times, in addition to teach us the solidarity, the compassion, and the mastery of various means of communication in order to feel, more than ever, close to others. A crisis can become a springboard for exploring new paths.

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