Updated: May 26, 2020
It’s incredible to think about how quickly the pandemic changed our world. With leaders scrambling to appropriate resources, scientists focusing to find answers, health care workers fighting to provide care, essential workers doubling down their efforts, and parents struggling to manage it all, it seems as if every life has been thrown into hyperdrive.
That is, unless you are a small child whose whole world came to a screeching halt. As adults, we can only imagine how the youngest among us must be feeling being removed from their classrooms to be back at home with caregivers.
For most children, staying at home during the pandemic has meant that their caregivers have been busier than ever, perhaps with less time to play as they juggle work, child care arrangements, facilitating school for older siblings and simply managing the stress of life.
Since the end of March, our educators at La Escuelita San Marcos have hustled to adapt to new technologies and virtual teaching strategies to continue to educate students via remote learning. They mastered hosting Zoom conferences, optimizing their lessons for the camera, arranging proper lighting and using their body language, makeup and props to convey English and concepts. For those students that were unable to use Zoom, the teachers keep connected via WhatsApp. Some families only have calling and text messaging, so the teachers assembled packets of work and arranged delivery via Caterpillar ministries.
As you may or may not know, teaching preschoolers via Zoom can be quite challenging! With their cute antics and short attention spans, they are perfect "runners" from the camera! This has meant that the teachers have had to hone their extemporaenous speaking skills and think on their feet in whole new ways.
When in doubt, they've "gone with the flow" of the child. The education at LESM takes its cues from Reggio Emilia, which is a child lead, play first methodology. The teacher is an observer first and an intervener second. Jovana, the two year toddler teacher, has even arranged her classes via her students' snack or lunch time to be able to maintain the connection which is so important in language acquisition.
Despite the pandemic, preschool has gone on! The children have covered flowers, insects, dinosaurs and more! Teachers have conducted scavenger hunts, played games and sang songs. The traditions of the school have been upheld even via video conference!
Nearly half of our students do not have a dedicated device or internet access. Would you consider becoming a sponsor now to help us acquire resources to assist families to access their education via virtual learning? Would you help equip us with a library of loaner devices for our students? We appreciate all gifts, small or large! Please donate here