Coming together as a school community in a time of uncertainty.

By Colleen Cerebe / May 19, 2020

As parents, educators, and caregivers, we are all facing uncertainty in dealing with our new routines. Finding and coping with a new “normal,” whether it be for work, school or visits to the hospital, can be overwhelming and frustrating for all.

As a hospital teacher, each day brings me a new census, a new group of students to teach, and new districts’ online communities to navigate. I find myself frustrated with the curriculum being presented to students that may not be on the level that the individual child needs.  Young people with chronic medical conditions are already in a unique group of learners-they may be delayed or not on grade level or no longer have their homebound instructor to help them.

Parents are also now being asked to wear yet another hat: teacher. It can be an overwhelming expectation. Remember that school should not be a source of stress or anxiety for you or your child. Keep in mind that you know your child best and trust yourself to present the lessons in a way that works for your child. Adapt what school looks like for your own family. It is likely that you are not going to know how to do every lesson the right way, or do it exactly how their regular teacher does it, but that is ok. The process matters most.

I know that teachers want to be back in the classrooms with their students and parents would like to have that normal routine back as well. Education looks different right now and it’s not uncommon if you feel alone, frustrated and overwhelmed.

​Now more than ever we need to come together as a community to ensure the success of all students and provide a safe and supportive educational environment. That includes teachers at the school, the hospital teacher, parents, school personnel as well as your local school district.

We all need to rely on each other for resources, help, and guidance.

Home Schooling Tips

What if we take the opportunity this pandemic presents to think about the life lesson it provides for children and ourselves?  This time is teaching all of us to work together for the common goal, remembering that we are not going to master every lesson in life. That is an important lesson for all.

I would like to offer some tips for schooling at home.

  • Keep it positive and fun!

Think of ways that your child loves to do things and adapt lessons accordingly. For example, if your child loves cars incorporate them into a counting activity.

  • If your child is having difficulty staying on task, provide scheduled breaks using your phone timer or a kitchen timer.
  • If your child needs more structure, provide them with a picture schedule or a word schedule to keep them focused and on task. Try to avoid punishing them by taking things away.
  • Meet your child where he/she is at; remember this can look different from traditional school. This is your child and your family and you know what is best, you are the expert here. Trust your decisions and make the situation work for you.
  • Think of activities you do throughout the day and how you can turn them into academic and life skill lessons.

Also, I also want to share some free resources that I have found helpful.

If we come together as a school community in this time of uncertainty, we can do this!

**Statements on this blog reflect the author’s personal opinion and do not represent the views of Ryan’s Case for Smiles. They are also not to be viewed as personal medical advice, but rather for the purpose of general knowledge. The reader should speak to their healthcare team, or their child’s, for medical advice.**

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