Monday, January 18, 2021

Schools - Where To?

 

Despite progress and technology , many things stay more or less the same over  the years. Schools for instance. The same physical bricks-and-mortar structure with classrooms for plus / minus 30 pupils, courtyard, teachers doing their frontal teaching job etc.

               entering school  (web picture)

We've all gone through this kind of school; it has been there for decades offering a sort of constant stability to children, teachers and parents. Now, it would appear that schools (learning, education) are one of the major casualties of the covid-19 virus.

So far, the medical authorities are not in favor of keeping schools open during the pandemic. Yet learning has not stopped , as technology helped quite a lot with suggesting remote and flexible ways of learning and teaching .

distancing  (web picture)

However, there are schools which are meant first of all to keep the kids off the street.  What will become of these schools and of these kids in case things won't go back to normal , that is, to the physical, organized, and supervised system?

wearing masks  (web picture)

Well, there will probably be all kinds of changes we'll have to deal with, once we get rid (if we get rid) of the virus.  I have the feeling, though, that schools are going to remain  forever a 'constant' in our life.


36 comments:

  1. I am so glad my own kids are done with school and grown so that I don't have to worry about it. But my coworker still has two small children and she is having to homeschool remotely and also she is working a regular job just as I am. It would be sad for children to not go back to regular school rooms, but I heard on the news this morning that there is a new strain of the virus that is more susceptible to children...as if things weren't bad enough already.

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    1. Parents have reasons to be worried. Schools are risky places and the kids are vulnerable to the virus. Yet, they oppose to closing of schools,as far as I understand.

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  2. I think we will have to deal with all sorts of new problems in education when the schools open again. I think many kids will be far behind for their grade level. I worry.

    I think it is good they preserve the old buildings. Here it seems if the building gets too old, they tear it down and build a new school. It seems it would be more economical to retrofit the old building for whatever they need. But just a guess. I'd rather see them pay teachers more than build a new school -- it's the teachers that facilitate the learning, not the structure.

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    1. You're perfectly right about economical measures that would help employ more and better teachers. Besides, old buildings are in many cases more solid and spacious than the new ones.

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  3. The schools and teachers are struggling to cope with the changes.

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    1. Indeed. Teachers and parents, though confused by reality, are making great efforts to find the best solutions possible.

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    2. I have great respect for teachers, both for their role in developing our children and in dealing with some parents who can be truly obnoxious. They are for the most part underpaid, although in Canada they have a strong union and that is generally not the case. A physical school serves children in many ways beyond being a centre of learning. It teaches children the values of interaction with others, tolerance and kindness, the chance to be involved in team sports and other social activities. On-line learning has been a boon during the pandemic but I would hate to see it replace the classroom.

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    3. I would hate that too, for the same reason that you've mentioned - the many values gained by the kids from social interaction and social activities taking place at school.

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  4. Here in the States I think we have a mixed bag of schools meeting in person and schools just meeting virtually. Currently in Arizona most of the schools are meeting virtually. I hope and pray that they will be back in the classroom come August when my grandson will be starting kindergarten. I don't see him being good at virtual learning at his young age (though kindergartens currently are meeting virtually). His daycare has never closed during this time and there has been not many cases of the virus there (a handful at best) and I'm sure it is physically impossible to try to socially distance 3-4 year olds. His older sister, a sophomore, is desperately missing her interactions with friends in an in person school setting. I think in some school districts the kids are going to be behind in learning what they should have learned this year. Last year she had 6 classes before this whole pandemic started, this year 3 classes. With our new administration coming on board in a few days, the president elect has designated money to get the kids back into the classroom across the country. Maybe teachers will be on board for it; now they aren't as a lot of teachers here when confronted to go back into in person learning stage sick outs so that there aren't enough teachers to teach in person and they remain virtual with the learning. Its a big mess and I feel for the kids and the parents; they are the ones really affected by it all.

    betty

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    1. As you say, Betty, it's a big mess; kids and parents are definitely going to be affected by it all. There's much confusion and anxiety as nobody seems to know what's going to happen next. The virus is still here, and it's too soon to make any plans. May God have mercy upon us!

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  5. Education has always had it's problems with or without the virus. In some ways this new learning may have helped a few, but not all because unfortunately we are not all equal having something like a laptop or a smart phone at our fingertips. And those who need a much more tangible setting.

    A few years back I read a diary of a Swed who came to Nebraska as a youngster (I live in Nebraska) He was too young for the Civil War then or perhaps at the end of and somehow the one room school he went to, he ended up teaching there. However, he had to beat all the boys up just to control class. Unfortunately, you still have some like this in schools. And I do wonder in the future if it will be more online learning for those who want it and want to advance.

    This year we have had online learning then in school and then back to online with a lot of weeks off. Of course, some students have suffered more than others, and I feel they do need a 'bubble' type learning where they stay in a group that stays together. Of course, many of us feel that way who are back at work and not working from home. It seems we have to be accountable about where we go and who has visited our house lately..especially, when they may have to be tested. I think we are evolving and it leaves us unsure of a lot of things.

    The name of that book is Happy as a Big Sunflower.

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    1. Hi Ellie,
      I definitely agree with the first line of your comment - that is, education has its problems with or without the virus.
      There are children who are hard to control in the classroom, so learning becomes secondary. These are also the kids that schools have to keep off the street for both their sake and the public's sake.
      Anyway, virtual learning is not for everyone, certainly not for these kids.. They need to be within the framework of the physical school.

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    2. It looks like here we have school back in session after the long winter break. Still, many activities aren't available. Especially, those that makes money for the school like ballgames. Certainly, we are far from being normal but we are trying to make strides.

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    3. I'm glad to hear that. Hopefully, things will gradually return to some form of normality. We badly need that.

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  6. In addition to academic enrichment, several milestones happen within schools: first crush, earning a spot in the school play, being invited to your first school dance, making the cheerleading team (When Kelly M. did not!), field trips, etc. Unfortunately, circumstances are cheating youngsters out of such experiencs right now. I sincerely hope that they are resilient.

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    1. True. The circumstances now are of such a nature that all the above is in jeopardy.Since the virus outbreak,schools are considered hubs of infection.

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  7. I believe children learn much better in a class environment rather than at home, that is not all students.
    We are fortunate here to have the school open though it's holiday time at the moment with children returning early February if all is well. The University closed about March last year and this year it's opening as our youngest son is looking forward to returning to the classroom there.

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    1. Your belief is shared by most of us.
      It seems the situation in your area is not bad. Hopefully, it will even get better.

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  8. Our schools are open for the little once the others have half computer half school. The students everything per video I guess. Terrible for the youth ! Nothing to have fun they live as 100 years old ! Lots are depressed or don't want to continue school anymore ! so sad!

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    1. Honestly, Gattina, I don't know what to think any more. Schools open, and then after a while get closed again (like an harmonica) as numbers of infected in the general population surge, the kids being considered asymptomatic virus spreaders.

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  9. Our schools are pretty good here in Canada. We have unions and fair pay.
    Virtual Learning has been a challenge. There are so many barriers: bandwidth, Internet speed, the need for laptops, parental supervision. Our grandkids are doing pretty well, but they have all the above. My kids do struggle with their work and keeping the girls on task, or taking breaks. What a time.
    Our kids chose to keep the girls home, which is a factor of socioeconomics, many were in school. Our grandies in Vancouver are going to school. IT's so different across our country.

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    1. Canada's one of those countries with better possibilities and ways to meet challenges.
      Still, the question is how long will this pandemic be going on. Virtual education is not for every
      body, just as democracy is not for any
      country.
      At this point, nobody can answer this question. Perhaps it's high time to question China on this.

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  10. Hi Duta, this scripture verse comes to mind! Let`s agree with it and may it be so speedily and in our days!!!
    All your children will be taught by the LORD. Your children will have great Shalom. Isaiah 54:13
    💕

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    1. Beautiful verse!
      Let me remind you, however, that the Lord is everywhere, including the classroom, the teachers' heart and the parents' thoughts.

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  11. In here, schools were closed, but last week they opened schools for 1-3 graders, saying the youngest are at lower risk. I'm not sure if that's a right thing to do, but we will see. I'm happy my son is not school age yet! Stay safe and healthy everyone!

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    1. "We will see" - that's the right attitude, as we can do very little about things we don't know. And we don't know a lot about children and the virus.

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  12. Yes, here in the UK our schools are closed to all except children of keyworkers and those that are vulnerable.

    All of our grandchildren are being taught via the internet. Both they, their parents and the schools are coping well.
    However, the one thing they do miss is being in actual contact with their friends and classmates, it's just not the same on the computer screen!

    To quote many others, we shall have to wait and see how things go, but I do hope they will be able to open the schools up again soon.

    Take care, stay safe and well.

    All the best Jan

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    1. School children here, in Israel, are going to be vaccinated, probably as a measure taken prior to their returning to school. The medical authorities are waiting for a reply from Pfizer company on their opinion on this matter.As far as it is known, there were no children or pregnant women among the people on trial.

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  13. Thank you very much for your interesting article. )

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    1. Thanks,Victoria. I appreciate your opinion.

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  14. Our 2 school-age grandchildren have been doing at-home schooling since last spring. The 14-year old grandson really likes it, but the 9-year old granddaughter is having a harder time and definitely misses the socialization. They live in RI and while schools are open, their mother has decided to do the home learning as she is already out in the workforce up to 5 days a week.

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    1. 'Socialization' is missed by the kids everywhere. However,should the pandemic last longer, they'll probably learn to cope with the situation imposed upon them.
      Children can adapt more easily to changes than adults.

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  15. tenemos que ir cambiando todo por el tema de la pandemia, ya que creo que esto va para largo a pesar de las vacunas, es algo que ya tendrían que estar haciendo, adaptarnos de otra forma.

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    1. I agree with you. I wouldn't be very surprised, if among other changes, schools will get some other meaning and format. Who knows?

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