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Teaching in Challenging Times: Caring for Children during COVID-19

COVID-19 has been stressful for everyone, especially those who work in classrooms and caregiving settings. Educators have had to navigate their own stress while caring for young children during a confusing time.

As you reflect on this past year while continuing to care for young children, here are three quick tips for teaching during challenging times. The tips included below are each from different articles and education resources that you might enjoy exploring when time allows.

“Let yourself off the hook”

Christine Elgersma, is a senior editor of social media and learning resources at Common Sense Media, as well as a parent and a former teacher. In an interview with Edsurge, Elgersma said…

“for teachers, it’s really important to let yourself off the hook a little bit. It’s not going to be perfect. And I think there are lessons within the lessons…When there are problems, we [can be] modeling problem solving. If there are glitches, we’re modeling perseverance. So I think there are a lot of ways that this experience can be instructive in ways we might not expect and might not be part of the set curriculum.”

“Be compassionate with yourself”

Darri Stevens is a former Teach for America corps member and a seasoned educator with Masters degrees in Education from both Harvard University and Stanford University. In an article for Resilient Educator, Stevens reminds educators…

“Nothing is normal right now, so throw your usual day-to-day expectations out the window. In overwhelming times, there is much to struggle with when it comes to changes and the unknowns. It becomes easy to think negatively about yourself or your decisions. In a time of crisis, you need to give yourself space to regroup and reset.”

“Don’t take anything personally”

Melissa Roy is an instructional coach and has been a teacher for over 20 years. In her article for Edutopia, Roy writes…

“Occasional conflict is inevitable, a by-product of being human. But I always have a choice about the degree to which I am willing to participate in conflict… Nothing that others say or do is about me. It’s a liberating idea. I strive to lead with compassion and acceptance in my classroom, two keys to cultivating positive relationships with students. But when kids get angry, which happens sometimes despite my best efforts, I try not to get down on myself or take offense.”

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