Teresa Thayer Snyder: What Shall We Do About the Children Af…

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Teresa Thayer Snyder was superintendent of the Voorheesville district in upstate New York. She composed this sensible and informative essay on her Facebook page. A good friend sent it to me.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I am composing today about the children of this pandemic. After a life time of working among the young, I feel compelled to resolve the issues that are being expressed by many of my peers about the deficits the kids will show when they lastly return to school. My goodness, what a disturbing thing to be concerned about in the face of a pandemic which is impacting countless individuals around the nation and the world. It speaks with one of my biggest worries for the children when they return. In our determination to “capture them up,” I fear that we will lose who they are and what they have actually learned throughout this unmatched age. What in the world are we trying to catch them up on? The models no longer use, the criteria are no longer legitimate, the trend analyses have been disrupted. We need to not forget that those arbitrary steps were established by people, not ordained by God. We can make those void procedures as outdated as a crank up telephone! They merely do not use.

When the children go back to school, they will have returned with a new history that we will require to assist them make and identify sense of. When the kids go back to school, we will require to listen to them. Let their stories be informed. They have actually endured a year that has no parallel in modern times. There is no assessment that applies to who they are or what they have actually discovered. Keep in mind, their brains did not go into hibernation throughout this year. Their brains may not have actually been focused on conventional school product, but they did not stop either. Their brains may have been focused on where their next meal is coming from, or how to care for a more youthful brother or sister, or how to handle missing grandma, or how it feels to have to surrender a beloved animal, or how to deal with death. Our task is to welcome them back and assist them compose that history.

I genuinely plead with my associates, to give up the artificial constructs that measure accomplishment and welcome the kids where they are, not where we think they “must be.” Greet them with art products and composing products, and music and dance and so many other opportunities to help them express what has taken place to them in their lives during this dreadful year. Greet them with stories and books that will assist them understand an upside-down world. They missed you. They did not miss out on the test prep. They did not miss out on the worksheets. They did not miss the reading groups. They did not miss out on the homework. They missed you.

Resist the pressure from whatever ‘powers that be’ who remain in a hurry to “repair” kids and make up for the “lost” time. The time was not lost, it was invested in enduring a historical amount of time in their lives– in our lives. The children do not require to be repaired. They are not broken. They require to be heard. They need be given as many tools as we can provide to support durability and assist them adapt to a post pandemic world.

Being an instructor is a vital connection in between what is and what can be. Please, let what can be show that our children have so much to share about the world they reside in and in assisting them make sense of what, for everybody has been unthinkable. This will assist them– and us– attain a lot more than can be determined by any evaluation tool ever designed. Peace to all who work with the children!

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This content was initially published here.

After a lifetime of working amongst the young, I feel compelled to address the issues that are being expressed by so numerous of my peers about the deficits the children will show when they finally return to school. It speaks to one of my biggest worries for the kids when they return. When the children return to school, they will have returned with a new history that we will require to help them make and identify sense of. When the children return to school, we will need to listen to them. Please, let what can be demonstrate that our children have so much to share about the world they live in and in helping them make sense of what, for all of us has been unthinkable.

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