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And The Walls Of Education Came Tumbling Down: How Can We Help Our Children?

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

On March 15, 2020, The United States of America could no longer ignore the fact that the country was under physical attack. Because of COVID-19, we as a community could no longer entertain or commune with each other.

People were dying by the hundreds around us. Many of our family members perished, with only videos from Hospitals to show the final moments of their loved ones. Corporations closed only to allow employees to work from home and attend ZOOM conferences. Lines of individuals stood outside of stores in masks waiting to purchase food and supplies for their families.

These were desperate times. This pandemic placed everyone on an equal playing field. The pandemic did not discriminate culture, race, male, female, or economic status. Everyone was a victim.

Our schools, the children, and the staff that serve them, were the most vulnerable individuals during the pandemic. Nothing could have prepared anyone for what lay ahead. The debate between closing schools and keeping them open continued in many states. At the time, the Pandemic was physically impacting older adults, and states felt that children would be untouched by it. But it would soon be discovered that children could carry the COVID germ and affect individuals in their homes, especially seniors. As the sickness took over the world, states decided to close schools permanently till further notice.

In addition to school closures, distance learning was urged at the state level. I believe Remote Learning would have worked if the schools were better prepared, but they were not.

Public Schools in the US had always thought about creating a Remote Learning plan in place for those students who were homebound or hospitalized, but now given the task of doing Remote Learning for the entire school, districts failed miserably.

The biggest challenges for Remote Learning for most of the schools were the following:

  • Homes with no working internet.

  • The lack of laptops for each child.

  • Lack of training for School personnel.

  • Tracking students and keeping them on task.

  • The inconsistency of District support.

All these factors caused Remote Learning to fail.

As the months of the Pandemic continued, schools found more creative ways to work with students. Some local organizations including churches opened for students who had parents that continued to work. With the rules of Social Distancing and wearing masks, this was a temporary fix, but it worked.

As time went on Schools found more ways to celebrate their students. Social media played a big part, as schools posted events on Facebook and other social media platforms, to educate children. But as school districts continued to work round the clock keeping students engaged, hundreds of children were not educated at this time.

My question is this: In spite of all that's been done so far to aid our children, teachers, administration, and schools at large, could we have done more?

My answer is I really don’t know. I'm not pushing fault on anyone as I truly believe the country was simply caught “WITH THEIR PANTS DOWN”.

So now here we are! And what do we do next?

The ongoing evaluation of the Pandemic proved a lot. The horrific number of deaths, especially in the Black and Brown communities, where there was a lack of health care. The pushing of the vaccine for those who didn’t believe in vaccines. The economy plunging into the deep. A lot of things happened that we, as a country, could not control. Out of all of the problems the one that stood out for me the most was the fact that children in schools lost a year or more of learning.

In the areas of Reading and Math, the 3rd and 4th grades suffered the most. Teachers discovered after their students were allowed back into the building that along with the emotional scars, they had to re-teach 2 years of educational skills. And unfortunately, as we prepare to enter 2023, this problem still exists. Will it ever be resolved? Many of us don’t know. If I was still teaching and in the classroom today, I’d carefully evaluate my students from this day on. I would examine the gaps of each student and set up a specific program for each child or group of students.

Children are resilient, and this helps a great deal. As a result, they are capable of learning and adapting to a variety of situations quickly. With time, I believe our students will be able to recover the lost years from the pandemic. And our role as educators is to contribute daily to making this happen.

Can we do anything as educators to ensure our students continue to progress? Comment below and let me know.


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