Teachers continue to be a powerful source of comfort and support to students. The reality of today is that the academics matter less than they did two weeks ago. Our focus on the social and emotional development of children is more critical now than before.
Before schools closed, our daily schedules were so routine, they were automatic. January-March has always been the time of year that students are most productive in the classroom for me as a teacher, and that was cut short. Now, routine means something different. It no longer means ELA at 9 AM every day; it means knowing what to do from home where school routines aren’t easy to organize. Create a routine across the week that repeats each week, so children start to remember Monday as the DEAR day rather than the PE or Art day.
Supporting families and children to have a routine is imperative right now. Focus more on academic habits than on academic content. Think of activities that can easily have different content and work on the similar skills that strengthen with practice.
Here’s a sample schedule for ELA (Grades 1 and up, easily modified for K):
With a schedule like this, your time can be spent connecting with students (replying to the journal entries each week, phone calls) and not planning daily lessons. If you have small group video calls, you can ask them to share their independent reading or reflect on the audiobook you assigned. Your one on one check ins can be about the Wednesday journal and supporting children to navigate these complex times.