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Whakapau kaha – to be better than before.

The Ministry of Education has clarified the situation moving forward for us.  The page of ‘Links and Ideas’ I supplied to you yesterday are to cover until Friday, with the holidays offically starting on  Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive (a reminder that the Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools).  So on Wednesday 15 April we will be starting Term 2 using a virtual platform until we are informed we are allowed back on-site. I believe that the Ministry is still developing guidelines on what this online learning should encompass, however, expect all our teachers to be making contact with your children on the 15th April ready to go.

 

Below is a letter from a fellow Principal, I believe is very wise and includes much for you to reflect on as we move through these times.

Dear Parents and Caregivers

You might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule for your children.  You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You’ll limit technology until everything is done!  But here’s the thing…

Our children are just as scared as we are right now.  Our children not only can hear everything that is going on around them , but they feel our constant tension and anxiety.  They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off school for weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.

Over the coming weeks, you’ll see an increase in behaviour issues with your children.  Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally-it will happen.  You’ll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.

What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved.  To feel like it’s going to be OK. And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule and love your children a bit more.  Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips to  the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing. 

Don’t worry about them regressing in school.  Every single child is in this boat and they will all be OK.  When we are back in the classroom, we will all course correct and meet them where they are.  Teachers are experts at this!

Don’t pick fights with your children because they don’t want to do Maths.  Don’t scream at children for not following the schedule. Don’t mandate two hours of learning time if they are resisting it. 

If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all this, your child(ren)’s mental health will be more important than their academic skills.  And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone. So keep that in mind, every single day.

 

以下是一位校长的来信,我认为这是非常明智的,在我们经历这些变化的过程中,请您多加参考。

亲爱的父母和看护人

您可能倾向于为您的孩子制定精确的学习时间表。您对学习规划时间充满希望,包括在线活动,科学实验和书籍报告。在目标完成之前,您将限制技术/工艺活动!但是事情是这样的…

现在我们的孩子和我们一样害怕。我们的孩子不仅可以听到周围发生的一切,还可以感受到我们不断的紧张和焦虑。他们以前从未经历过这样的事情。尽管放学几周的想法听起来很棒,但他们所想象的快乐时光和现实不同,他们会认为是放暑假,而不是毎天被困在家里看不到朋友的现实。

在接下来的几周里,您会发现孩子们的行为问题有所增加。无论是焦虑,愤怒还是抗议他们无法正常做事,这些事情都会发生。在接下来的几周内,您将会看到更多的崩溃,发脾气和反对行为。这是正常现象,在这种情况下是可以预期的。

孩子们现在需要的是能夠感到安慰和被爱。让他们感到安心,让他们了解事情会过去的。这可能意味着您需要慎重考虑自己的日程安排,并多爱他们一些。到室外玩,或者去散步。烘烤饼干和画画。玩棋盘游戏和看电影。一起进行科学实验,或到动物园实地考察。全家一起阅读一本书。盖着温暖的毯子,什么也不要做。

不用担心他们会退步。每个孩子都在同条船上,他们都会没事的。当我们再次回到教室时,我们会将他们導向正确地课程,并找到他们所在的位置。老师是这方面的专家!

不要与孩子吵架,只因为他们不想做数学。不要因为他们未遵守时间表而对孩子们大喊大叫。如果他们拒绝接受,不要规定两个小时的学习时间。

如果我能奉劝您一件事,那就是:在这件事情结束之后,您孩子的心理健康将比他们的学习技能更重要。事情结束之后,这段时间里的记忆会荡然无存,但是在这段时间里的感受将长期与他们在一起。因此,每天都请您记住这一点。

 

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