On what would’ve been education day for the class of 2020, we asked a few of our members from Maryland's education sector to offer their best advice for educators and parents adjusting to virtual learning:
Dr. Michael J. Martirano '07, Superintendent, Howard County Public Schools:
Work Hard and be kind - This mindset has driven me during my time as an educator, administrator and Superintendent and exemplifies the way Americans are coming together during this pandemic.
To Teach a Child Well, You Must Know a Child Well - Every student has different backgrounds, perspectives, needs, and motivators. The key is to understand what those are for each student and leverage that knowledge to make a difference as an educator.
William "Rob" Hair '21, Superintendent, Maryland School for the Blind:
Establish a schedule. Make the day predictable and keep sleep routines in place. This is very important for kids and adults and helps to keep behaviors at a minimum in kids and adults.
Give kids choices throughout the day. Build in exercise, playtime and remain flexible.
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Ignore the baskets of unfolded clothes or if things are not as tidy as you like or if the kids have more screen time than you prefer under normal circumstances. There is no need to be perfect in housekeeping or parenting, at any time, but certainly not in this period of quarantine.
Take care of yourself. We’re all anxious right now. Sometimes we get so focused on taking care of our families that we ignore the impact that this crisis is having on us personally. Gardening, exercise, arts and crafts, jigsaw puzzles or going for long walks can help us to maintain a healthy outlook.
Dr. Patricia W. "Patty" Saelens '19, Superintendent, Caroline County Public Schools:
The Do's and Don’ts of At-Home Learning:
During these unprecedented times of home learning, families will inevitably be faced with many challenges. Remember, the role of the parent is to ‘support’ learning opportunities. Families should not feel pressured to ‘teach’ their child, but instead support access to opportunities. Below are some Do’s and Don’ts of home learning to assist in setting yourself up for a successful and productive experience.
Focus on the basics
Take movement breaks
Allow for mistakes
Know that most of the time, you’re doing the best you can (and forgive yourself the rest of the time)
Beat yourself up
Stay idle for long periods of time
Give up too early
Focus on the negative
Set unattainable expectation