Dear Cordova Bay Families,
As we learn to create a new normal while grieving the loss of normal (kind of like flying the plane while building it) I wanted to take some time to set the stage for a way forward. Firstly, WE'VE GOT THIS! For those of you who have read my Principal's Messages, you will have heard me say that I strongly believe that you are your child's "first teacher". Although you may be concerned about your child's academic progress and how you will support this, be rest assured that plenty of learning will happen every day. Cordova Bay Teachers are hard at work to make sure your child's learning journey continues in the very best way possible, given the circumstances.
I know that as parents, as we prepare for managing work from home, perhaps the stress of no work or caring for loved ones, online learning, snacks, action breaks, meals, and most importantly, emotional support for our children and our families, we are all desperately looking for that ruddy manual on how to do this! Although we sadly don't have a manual for this very uncertain time, I would like to offer some thoughts on what may make things a tad bit smoother, as we transition to online learning platforms.
While the learning plan for our students continues to evolve into next week, please keep in mind the following, as you prepare for overseeing the plan:
- learning happens best in very short 20-30 minute chunks of time....or less (your child will guide the way on this one and you will learn very quickly which activities your child can do forever and which ones will need to be shortened. Your child's teacher will likely send some suggestions on how to structure a learning day which you can tailor to meet your child's needs.)
- limit screen time for students (yes, I know, super hard at this time, but students are simply not used to this type of learning. In-person classes have very little screen time per day/week. Once again, you know your child best; however, I would encourage playing with toys, yard play, reading a book, drawing, arts and crafts, etc. over screens)
- brain breaks/movement breaks are key to learning. Rain or shine students should regularly get outside and breathe in some fresh air. Your child's teacher and I will be sending lots of suggestions for breaks
- Children work best with a schedule and a routine. Make a plan, with your child, on how each day will look (personal planning is a key core competency) and try to stick to it, as best you can.
- Breathe. Ease into the vulnerability of a beginner's mindset. There are no experts in the crowd, as this is a first for all of us. We are being asked to surrender, be present, and create a new normal for our children. When we look back, I am hoping that the biggest lesson our children will learn from this period of time is how to respond to adversity with loving kindness, care and compassion.
Thank you for your partnership, patience and trust, as we work together to provide continuity to your child's learning. Please reach out to us and lean on us for support. Additionally, keep an eye out for a fun activity I have dubbed "Heron High Fives". I am hoping this will be a fun way for me to connect with students...more to come!