On March 12th we found out our school district would be closed just one day for deep cleaning. No one knew that would be the last day we would see each other. My preschoolers are now learning from their homes. In this uncertain time, they do not understand why going back to school isn’t an option. Although preschool is a great introduction to early learning and development, the most important part of preschool is learning social skills through building relationships. Feeling that sense of belonging to a community and connecting with others outside your hone for the first time. My students have suddenly had that taken away from them without comprehending the reason behind it.
The best way for my children to learn right now is through virtual classes where they can interact with their teachers and peers in a similar way as we did during group time in the classroom. I host two group Zoom “classes” a week for any children who can make it and offer to do one on one sessions for children who need a little extra attention. Their eyes light up and voices squeak as they show off what they’ve been doing at home with the little resources they have or just tell a story about something that is relevant in their lives. We sing and share and read a book, but it’s never enough! My netbook is more than a few years old and has a very out of date camera. The image my children see is extremely blurry which takes away from the purpose of connecting. When I hold the book up to the camera, not only do I struggle to read the words in the mirror image, but the children can hardly see the pictures. This has also prevented me from recording myself reading books, as many of my colleagues have, then posting the videos for my class to see for that additional sense of relationship. We use the iPad in the classroom during the school year, but again, have a very outdated one. A new one would further my ability to provide meaningful online experiences for my preschool students now as well as when we are back in the classroom perhaps in the Fall.
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