Updated: Mar 24, 2020
1. You are doing the best you can do in this moment. We all are. It is ok.
2. No teacher anywhere expects YOU to teach children and make sure all content is covered exactly as your trained teachers would do. Do the best you can. We will lovingly accept them back with whatever they have accomplished WITH NO JUDGEMENT. Whatever is getting accomplished is OK.
3. You need to focus on your work, your household, and your children. We get it.
4. Your children are watching your every move. Take a deep, deep breath. Your main job is to help keep things calm, keep to a schedule and routine, and love your children.
5. Did I mention routine? They might complain, but kids thrive on routine. Have a daily schedule. Wake them up as normal, have your daily routine, eat together, and have an reasonable bed time. They may complain, but I promise this will help immensely.
6. No matter how you try to hide this stress, they see it. Hold them, reassure them, and love them. Let them ask questions. Reassure them that they are safe and you are safe. “People are just taking lots of precautions to keep everyone safe.” Be watchful over what they are watching (news, online chat).
7. Remember that family time is essential right now. Cook with them. Read to them. Tell them stories about “when you were little”. Teach older kids how to do laundry. Teach them how to do simple cooking. They will always remember the time you spend with them during this shut down.
8. Be gentle with each other, including your teachers. You may have one child whose teacher is over-the-top nailing it, and another who is seemingly lacking. We have never taught from home before. We had no notice and no training. We, too, are simply doing the best we can. Be gentle with each other. We will get through.
About Kristin W. Stolte
~Kristin W. Stolte is an elementary principal at Linton Elementary in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is also the NAESP State Representative for Colorado and is on CAESP Board.