Parents Don’t Worry! An Open Letter for Parents By a Parent. Surviving Distance Learning. #All In This Together.
Dear fellow parents,
As a parent myself I completely sympathise with the pressures that parents are under at home to support their children effectively with distance learning.
There are many multiple challenges for parents.
For example, finding balance can be problematic, in terms of giving appropriate support and supporting too much.
In addition to this, parents can often find themselves locked in battles to solve every task and complete every activity together, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, some children are left to work completely independently, posing the potential risk of children struggling and panicking impacting on well-being.
All of these scenarios, of course, can lead to children not demonstrating a true reflection of their abilities.
Parents must understand that schools, homes and companies all over the world are in uncharted territory – nobody has been in this position before.
Parents, children and teachers cannot possibly recreate an environment that reflects what our schools were like prior to this current situation.
However, as educators, we will make sure that our children will be fully supported once they return back to school. One of the first actions that all teachers will undertake is to ensure that they identify any gaps in learning and move on from this base-line point.
Teachers will take into account the wide-varying experiences of home-learning outlined above and it will be our role to identify those gaps and support each child in a personalised strategic plan.
Perhaps the most important factor to consider (whilst we completely acknowledge that this is also the most challenging) is to ensure that children still retain a love of learning.
We do not underestimate the immense pressure in homes across the globe.
Many parents are still continuing their own jobs, working in their spare rooms, sofa or dining room tables, whilst others are juggling siblings, babies and toddlers all together in the same house and at the same time!
Many children are surrounded by distractions, what once used to be their place of fun, endless access to toys and freedom from the boundaries of school, has now turned into their classroom and the expectations are now different and each feels it differently.
Our message to our parents is sustainability is paramount.
You need to be kind to yourselves, don’t expect too much.
Be flexible and crucially try to keep the learning positive. After all, we are in this for many more weeks.
Nothing should harm the relationship that you have with your child.
Those battles over reading, spellings, complicated maths work, incomprehensible English vocabulary, confusing Arabic, heavily resourced science or Art, and Music all need to be carefully managed.
Learn to chunk the learning up into small manageable portions and when something isn’t working and if it is causing stress, make sure that your child takes a step back.
Decide how to tackle it, have a break, or reread the task together, and most importantly, reach out to the many teachers all over Dubai who are on the other side of the screens ready to help.
Let them know what you are finding difficult. They will tweak, amend, adapt and support to ensure that no one is left floundering.
Parents, teachers, children… we salute you all!
You are all doing an amazing job and in the not too distant future we will return to normal and our children will all have gained much from this experience – be it memories, stronger relationships, perseverance and the development of so many important lifelong learning skills.
And parents, please remember, do not worry about any gaps in learning during this time– these gaps will be found and they will be filled.
We are all in this together.
Laura Dowlman. Parent and Headteacher. Victory Heights Primary School.
More support for parents on distance learning can be found here.
Information on financial support for parents can be found here.
Top 25 magical childhood books here.
If you have a ground-breaking story in UAE education, please mail the SchoolsCompared.com News Desk 24/7 at [email protected]
© SchoolsCompared.com 2020. All rights reserved.