I currently work in a class for Developmentally Delayed students in a hybrid model. This means that I am teaching both students online and at home at the same time. Last week, my one student had a very difficult day. She cried for much of the morning and just generally was in a bit of a funk. After a very tough morning, I asked her to come outside with me to chat. After a few minutes, she turned and told me what was going on.
She said, “I hate home right now. I am not allowed to have any friends over. I am not allowed to see Kelly or Puneet. I am not allowed to see our family. I want to see Greg and Nancy. I can not see them right now. I am bored at home. I want to see my friends.”
This student captured how most of us are feeling right now. I wish that I could have all her friends in our class come back to hang out but since that is not an option, making school fun is the best I can do.
Here is how we are beating the blues by making school fun right now!
Drawing pictures and writing letters for our friends that are learning at home. For one week, all the staff and students wrote letters and coloured pictures to send to our friends so that they know we are thinking of them. It was an exciting activity and we can’t wait to hear back from everyone.
We have hyped up our daily TV show at my school. We watch our school TV show every morning and enjoy the teacher who is the anchor of the show. He does an amazing job interviewing students and staff and it is just what we need during these difficult times. My students love him! We use his catch phrases often in our class. We asked for an autographed picture of him to hang in our class and we are interviewing him next week online. We are so pumped.
We decorated the classroom A LOT. This year we are not having a gathering at my home for the holidays so we took all of my home decorations and put them everywhere in the room. On the decoration day, I did have to laugh that my student who is obsessed with Halloween showed up in her pumpkin shirt to decorate for Christmas.
We are taking any chance to celebrate. Lucky for us, we have a few birthdays in our class at this time of year. We went big with the birthdays this year with lots of decorating and a big covid friendly celebration.
We have been reading some epic books and I have been taking book requests. My one student has read a lot of the Little Golden books. She is quite the expert on Lightning McQueen and Mater.
We have also started “Favourite Fridays” for both our online and in school students together. Every Friday we become Siskel and Ebert or Rolling Stone Magazine and give thumbs up or thumbs down to things that we like or don’t like. Last week was all about our holiday songs.
We also have added some exciting lights to our relaxation time!
In these times, keeping the excitement and energy is tough but as teachers that is about all we can do to ease our students woes.