We had fall launch on Monday, well, I did. Out of my element with a boatload of lower elementary students, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in parent/grandparent email pleas for help. Supplies are all on back order due to the enormous number of families choosing to do online school with my company. It is all about listening and encouraging and finding links to stories online and reminding those learning coaches (parent/grandparent) that while they wait for the colored math manipulatives to arrive, pennies will work just as well, or marbles, or candies for that matter. And who doesn’t want math you can eat?
I’ve had some pretty angry emails and have learned again that people just want to be heard, want to know someone cares, want to believe this will all be fine once they get used to it.
But I have one wonderful grandmother, trying her best to help her little granddaughter. But Grandma does not speak computer. At all. And she cannot have someone come to her home to show her because she is high risk for COVID complications. Today she told me this: “I’m a retired entertainer. Song and dance. Computers were not in my field. Stage work.”
And I replied: “Why not use your own talents to teach your granddaughter? Pick a favorite show and perform some of it and then have a conversation about characters and settings, plot and conflict.
Talk about the stage and show her the “math” of it: dimensions, entrances, exits, sound. Take her on a “history” tour of a stage or a particular show.
Talk about costuming and the “science” of make-up. I’d say that should cover the basics for a few days.”
We have to be flexible, teachers. We have to be.