Tag Archives: Children and COVID 19

Happy First Day of School


So many school children will begin a new year via Zoom and other platforms. No hugs, no high fives, and no notes passed around the classroom. The teachers will be in charge as usual and parents will need to monitor for the most part.

I taught all levels including graduate students and I cannot imagine what this beginning of  the school year will be like for youngsters just starting their education. My 5 year-old granddaughter will not be able to use her brand new unicorn design soup thermos for a while. That made her sad.

She received a basket full of workbooks, handouts, and curriculum guidelines and schedules. She was also lucky to receive an HP laptop for her to use during the virtual classroom meetings. As a grandparent I was so looking forward to walking her to school, taking her picture in front of the classroom door and waiting for her to get back to fill me in on all the details about her first day. I had to put on a happy face for her and try not to show my disappointment. But I suppose that for all kindergarteners this may be a way of school life for a while.   It may be the new normal and we the grandparents will have to deal with it. (I hope not.)

I remember my mother narrating my first day of school. She told me I walked right in and did not even look back to say goodbye. Her eyes would always tear up a little because for her I had started a whole new experience without her by my side. In comparison my daughter has accepted this new way of learning. She did a great job at home schooling towards the end of last school term. But it was pre-school and most moms are the teachers at that point. 

My granddaughter will wear her new dress and use her new pencils and crayons. But she will not put her new jacket and Frozen themed lunch box in the cubby hole labeled with her name. These little things may seem trivial within the bigger scheme of things but to me they made that first day so special. I remember my daughter’s first day. She rode the school bus labeled the red rabbit. We followed the bus in our car and watched as she got off with the help of the bus aide. She came back home so excited because she made a friend named Maya. The teacher pinned a note on her sweater that said, “We all had a beautiful day”. 

I hope COVID-19 will fade away soon and that the infections and deaths will diminish significantly. All we can do is continue to be vigilant of the signs of COVID-19. We must continue to follow the guidelines and know that we are not home free yet. 

I want to wish all children a wonderful school year be it in-person, or on-line or both. Most of all I wish for them to remain healthy along with their parents, teachers and school personnel. God bless you and God bless America.

 

Some Quotes to Ponder

You’re off to great to great places. Today is your first day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!     

Dr. Seuss

Wisdom begins in wonder.” -Socrates

My number one goal at the end of the first day is not that they know the rules and consequences. It’s that they’re excited to be part of the class. That they run home to their parents and say, “Oh my gosh. I have the best teacher. I have this awesome class. It’s going to be great.”  -Unknown

Happy First Day to My beloved Granddaughter!

Eighty-two days – For the Record


I decided to look up information about the so called “Spanish Pandemic”. My mother was born in December of 1918. Therefore she was barely a month old when people all around the world were dying. It did not originate in Spain as the name suggests.

“Wartime censors in the UK, Germany, the United States and France, anxious not to lower morale, played down the numbers of victims. But there were no restrictions on reporting the figures for Spain, which had taken no part in the war. So the belief grew that seemingly badly hit Spain was the epicentre of the disease.”

Then I looked up the latest information from sources like the CDC, NHI, and the CDC. These are the data based and research based organizations that help to advise the authorities about the precautions that need to be taken and how the spread of a virus, flu or illness.

This is why we should all listen to the appropriate authorities. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an acronym or an abbreviation as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

“Research indicates that children and adolescents are just as likely to become infected as any other age group and can spread the disease.”  – WHO

“The 1918 pandemic came in three waves. During the first, in the early part of the year, deaths were relatively low. The second wave, which began in August, was much more serious, the virus having mutated to a considerably aggressive form and October was the deadliest month of the whole pandemic.”

So if right now our country is averaging 1000 deaths per day. We have 165,000 deaths thus far. If this trend continues, we can potentially end up with another 65.000 deaths by the time the election comes around.

For the record, I am truly concerned. However, we can make a difference right now. My mother used to say not to leave for tomorrow what you can do today. She also told me she was a strong woman because she lived through a pandemic, a horrible hurricane, an earthquake, the depression and was widowed twice. I do not think I want to have to go through all of that to be strong. God bless her soul. I wonder what she would advise me now. One thing is for sure she would advise me to stay informed and take every precaution. She would have done anything to keep us safe. She would not have listened to any nonsense and would make sure she said something when she heard it.

There are 82 days to check out the records. Facts are what we need to hear. The truth is what needs to be spoken.

Please stay safe my friends. God bless America!

 

 

91 days and counting!


COVID-19 seems to be spreading at record numbers throughout the United States. The number of deaths may rise by the end of the summer by almost nineteen thousand. This number however can be reversed if according to the leading experts we continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Most worrisome right now is the opening of schools. Many districts have established protocols for opening schools. Some have hydrid schedules such as alternating days for face to face and on-line learning. Basically and ultimately parents will have the last word as to how they prefer to continue their children’s education. The debate continues and it is so confusing at times what and who to believe.

As a former educator, I am torn. I believe some children are actually safer at school when we consider possible child abuse cases that sometimes go unreported if not for the intervention of a teacher or school administrator. However, I also dread the fact that many children do not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms yet they can spread the disease to others including older and more vulnerable adults like grandparents and even their teachers.

I love technology and all its wonderful advantages but I do not believe that on-line learning can be a long-term especially with younger children. We must not forget the different domains of instruction. These domains were established for educators to follow and to provide guidelines for effective and long-term instruction. We must not forget the affective domain. “The affective domain describes the way people react emotionally and their ability to feel another living thing’s pain or joy. Affective objectives typically target the awareness and growth in attitudes, emotion, and feelings” (wiki aricle: Taxonomy of Instructional Objectives).

Another difficult situation is that many lower income children and their families may not have access to the Internet or the devices necessary for on-line learning. We must not forget that some households have different school age children. Another situation that complicates the scene is that parents may be working from home as well. So, how strong is the WiFi signal or the speed in which you can upload and download homework and assignments? No matter what a parent decides in the long run, there may be some regrets unfortunately.

We must remain alert and research what local authorities are doing to make schools safe now. Also, as we move into the flu season, we must learn to differentiate and also prepare our family for possible outbreaks. It is important to act quickly as soon as you suspect a child is sick.

We must also think about the coming years. Many of our school buildings are older, many are dilapidated and should be demolished. The technological infrastructure is not supportive either in many school buildings. I have always advocated for rebuilding, redesigning and creating healthier and safer schools. We need to protect our children from possible violence, cyber-bullying, in addition to now keeping schools cleaner and germ free. I know I am probably making you nervous by now but this is what we need to remediate. The only way to do this is to study and research what future senatorial and congressional candidates are proposing. What are their track records when it comes to education? What policies are they responsible for making? Do they vote for the equitable funding of all schools in all neighborhoods. School board leaders are usually elected. Find out who is running and what their platform is and how it may effect your family. School superintendents are usually appointed by mayors or other officials. Be careful of the ones who are very political and only look to further their careers. Find out who they are and make sure your community and your concerns are addressed. Go to meetings and vote.

This Pandemic has raised many questions about how we do business in our cities and towns. It has raised an awareness about what our politicians are doing to help us through this crisis and more importantly what they are not willing to do. Are they partisan or are they will to compromise and take action?

Parents need to be informed. Working parents need to get the help and assistance they need. We are all in this together. It takes a village, a township, a city, a state, and of course the federal government to take the necessary steps to keep all families safe and healthy.