SIX TIPS for Coping with Learning During A Pandemic, by Dr. Cynthia Mathews, Classroom Instructor, Curriculum and Instruction Consultant, Educational Leadership Consultant, and Educational Blogger.
- Be Responsible by Understanding the Significance of a Pandemic.
According to multiple reports of “Pandemic,” it shows a wide spread of a virus or disease. Usually the spread of the virus is around the world. The name Pandemic indicates the degree to which a disease is spreading; it is NOT the disease itself. Throughout human history, a number of pandemics of diseases have transpired–smallpox and tuberculosis and influenza, to identify a few (Research). The latest pandemic scare is COVID-19. As a result of the Pandemic, COVID 19 has emerged, which is unpredictable and has managed to rob cohesion among people at work, within families, among friends, and at businesses. COVID-19 has manifested confusion, sadness, and even hostility among many people: Research reports that some people feel their happiness for living has been robbed through the presence of COVID-19. The significant idea about a Pandemic, however, is that it travels and consumes many enabled places, people, and things. A Pandemic can transport unrest and illnesses all over the world. Yet, being responsible by doing your best to stay safe and to protect others from possible infection if you have contracted COVID-19, it is highly recommended that you follow the guide lines of the Center for Disease Control.
- Practice CDC’s Guidelines.
Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports using hand-sanitizers, wearing a face mask, and keeping a distance of at least 6-feet from others will help prevent the spread of a virus, namely, COVID-19. The virus is believed to negatively affect people 65 years of age or older and any other individual–regardless of age–who is known to be at a health risk, such as a person living with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity. Other health problems people maintain may also bring about COVID-19. According to CDC’s report, COVID-19 is believed to spread from person to person through droplets of coughs, sneezes, or talks, and the droplets can enter an infected person’s body system, bringing about a potentially fatal fate for the person. The CDC’s guidelines of sanitizing hands, wearing a face mask, and keeping 6 ft apart from others are the most reliable means of controlling the spread of COVID-19.
- Understand the Importance of Silence during Critical Times.
Dictionary.com defines silence as an absent of any unnecessary talk or comment or expressed concern. Silence is a concealment recommended when a crisis or an illness or a natural disturbance is within proximity of persons or events. Silence affords the opportunity for reflection, for you need to weave meaning from the threads of experiences to be able to embrace reasonableness out of misunderstood situations. In school, for example, during a pandemic, silence is especially important. While CDC’s guideline “Maintain 6-feet apart from others,” is a reasonable directive, it may not be so easy to comply for a group of students placed in a restricted setting for an extended period of time. Thus, within a classroom learning time, if you are a teacher, students should be taught the importance of being quiet while undergoing a pandemic and learning simultaneously. Like being quiet during a torrent thunderstorm or during a visitation of a deceased person, silence is a type of respect that is paid to a pandemic’s inevitable eruption of ordinary times. Thus, during the time of a pandemic, where possible, understand that “silence is golden” and honor it.
- Spread Goodwill among One-Another.
Most definitions identify goodwill as a friendly, cheerful, kindness, disposition. Goodwill is helpful during anytime in life, of course, yet most especially helpful during a pandemic, which may bring about fear, anxiety, unhappiness, and confusion. A benevolent act of kindnesses that is spread among everyone can help ease many uncertainties. Extending comforting words, “We are in this together,” helps you feel less isolated and less despaired. Where possible, especially while at school, be kind to classmates and teachers and administrators and counselors and custodians and all other personnel at school. Everybody during a crisis needs kindness. Smile whenever possible to amend for the lack of talking during critical times, and remember, when all efforts fail, just be kind. It’s the only obligation you as a human being owe to other beings while living on this earth.
- Practice a healthy Work-Ethic.
What is work ethic? It’s a practice to strengthen character. In life, the duty of human beings is to work and to work honestly. Humans are born to move about, to create opportunities, to aid the universe, to aid other people, and to aid themselves. To possess a good work ethic, you must practice honing dedication to complete any good endeavor. When work ethic is evident, a sense of loyalty and commitment to a job is readily seen and is an admirable trait. Work is medicine for relinquishing worry, for work consumes time though productiveness, not through anxiety. In a recent article written by Robert Half (2019), he agrees that work ethic allows people to accept a challenge or change or disruption. Therefore, to embrace change, if you are a teacher, when at school, teach students the importance of work ethic and illustrate how it influences their lives for the better. Furthermore, teach students that applying a healthy-work-ethic builds character: turns weakness into strength. During a pandemic, throw yourself into productive work and ease your mind into productiveness. By possessing a strong work ethic, you show that you are smart and that you are someone that others can rely on to get a job done. A good work ethic is important to portray, especially during a pandemic.
- Try not to worry.
When you worry, you usually do not have enough information about the thing that is worrying you. Proverb 4:5-9 states, “Get wisdom, get understanding; forget it not.” Understanding a situation will bring peace to your heart and allow you to move forward with acceptance. Worry brings anxiety and misery, and it does the body and mind no good. Be aware that worrying may bring about health problems, such as stress, and stress can lead to greater problems, which may represent as a host for viruses, seminal research reports. Therefore, the first sign of worry, you should begin a research strategy–ask questions–about what afflicts you. Talk with professionals on the topic of your concern. Only knowledge will help delete your worrying. Seek it. You will then be able to deal with facts. You will heal yourself. You will be able to move forward. Try not to worry about things outside your control. The pandemic is one such thing that is outside your control for it is too BIG and is WIDELY spread nearly all over the world.
TRY THESES EXTRA TIPS for STUDENT LEARNING:
- Place Pandemic Reminder Posters around the room. (This idea will help keep students within understanding of the Pandemic and will help promote their proper behavior while learning.)
- Keep students busy with meaningful assignments to help deter unnecessary talk. (Relate a problem-solving assignment with learning objectives.)
- Play popular music to help keep students entertained. (Examine lyrics for appropriateness.)
- Allow 10-minute of instructional time [each day] for a select number of students to develop a peer-relationship with one another while they maintain 6-feet apart. (This idea will help decrease the apathy that being separated from their peers may bring.)
- Give a piece of candy–Peppermint, Jolly Rancher, or Dark Chocolate. (Ask student-permission) to keep their mouths satisfied and moving (This idea will help prolong endurance to finish their assignments.)
- Return classwork with passing grades and positive comments on students’ papers (This idea of positiveness will help keep students motivated to learn).
- Keep yourself aware to remain within distance of students while instructing yet remain within safe proximity for student learning. (You can do it; just plan accordingly.)
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