As we finish up week 9(?) of e-learning and get closer to the end of the school year, I felt compelled to write about how Covid-19 is changing our students, both young and older. As both an Instructional Assistant for preschoolers and a tutor for middle and high schoolers, I’ve been able to stay connected with my students through weekly Zoom meetings. It’s safe to say, my students are feeling the effects of Covid-19.
At first, they were excited. An extra week or two of Spring Break? Yay! At first it seemed like an extra-long vacation. But once their travel plans were cancelled and they realized they wouldn’t be seeing their friends/classmates in person it hit them. The self-isolation quickly started wearing on them. I make a point to check in with my students every week even before the lesson in order to see how they’re doing. While my main goal is to help my students learn, their mental health is pertinent.
While the future is unknown, I try to focus on what is known with my students. For my preschoolers, I keep things positive and help them prepare for Kindergarten. Whether we meet in person or not, Kindergarten won’t be cancelled and they will need to be ready to do more work. For my middle schoolers, I still prepare them for high school. I reassure them that they are not the only ones going through this, that every 8th grader is going through the same thing as them. For my high schoolers, I still prepare them for college. Even if the SAT and ACT are cancelled or postponed, it’s still good for them to prepare and study in order to be ready for college.
For all of my students, regardless of age, I remind them that while we’re physically apart, we are all in this together. And I encourage them to reach out to me whenever needed. Together we will navigate through this time and figure out what our new normal will look like.