Teaching Preschoolers During COVID-19 Restrictions< < Back to
CLEVELAND, Ohio – With the ongoing spread of COVID-19, universities have closed down and switched to all online classes. Public school systems weren’t too far behind. Starting April 6th, Shaker Schools will be moving to online classes, something they have never had to do before. One of the most difficult challenges for the district is how to fulfill the needs of their youngest students, those of preschool age.
Preschool educator Lindsey weed said that they are working to come up with a plan to fit the needs of her students both academically and socially. The plan started by extending spring break for an additional week and giving students tools to keep learning.
“We gave the students packets to work on during spring break, so now with the week-long extension, they are continuing to work on the packet until April 6th, when we switch to virtual class,” she said.
Beginning on April 6th and going until at least April 30th, Weed and the rest of her preschool coworkers will begin to host class time on Zoom. However, because of the uncertainty of everyone being able to “be in class” the teachers will upload these lectures to google classroom once they are finished. Here, all students will be able to watch and re-watch all classroom activities even if they could not be present during class time and teachers will include assignments to go along with these lessons as well.
The school district was also able to help students prepare for these lessons even before the move to virtual teaching
“Students who didn’t have access to computers were actually given a Chromebook before spring break and other students who weren’t able to get high-speed internet with given wifi sticks so they have the chance to be as involved as their peers,” she said.
Although students are given most of the resources to succeed, some teachers are still concerned about the future growth of students.
“I think it will be difficult for some of the kids where this is direct instruction for them we’re going to be giving through video, it’s not going to be hands-on, paper pencil with manipulatives which some of these students need,” she said.
However, for those students who need more one-on-one time, Weed said the school is creating one-on-one calls and figuring out different ways to work with their needs.
For Weed, this time away from teaching is difficult, but she has decided to take on another task to pass the time.
“I have been homeschooling my nieces who are 2 and 4. So that has been interesting, we have a certain schedule every day so the girls create a routine. It’s been an amazing time getting to help them,” she said.
In the meantime, until students can return to the classroom, Shaker Schools are providing meals every day for those in need as well as providing school supplies. For now, teachers trying to keep classes as normal as possible and creating environments where students are still immersed in a creative learning environment.