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The role of teachers during confinement: «We are discovering things about children that we did not know»

02 2020 April - 01: 00

How are they facing the health alert from the schools? Technology is playing an essential role in the relationship between teachers and parents during these weeks of quarantine: in most cases, teachers are reaching out to parents by WhatsAppBy Telegram or by email, the educational programming they had planned, so that the parents can gradually supply it at home. But the most notable learning from this health crisis may not be the academic, but the human: children are learning a way of living that they did not know, due to work schedules and day-to-day routines. We spoke with teachers from various schools in Dénia and from different educational levels to learn about their feelings and how they contemplate the end of the course.

In Early Childhood Education: "Children are not living it like a nightmare"

Mónica Santos, a teacher of Early Childhood Education for three-year-old children at CEIP Montgó in Dénia, has detected that children are learning ways of living that, due to the rhythm of life we ​​normally lead, they did not know: "This time limit had to come to discover things about our children and for them to discover things about us that they did not know". Santos tries to "file" the dossier of contents that he sends to the parents so as not to burden them, and he continues to work from home with the rest of the teachers at the school, holding remote meetings to comply with the guidelines of the Ministry.

The teacher of early childhood education recognizes that at their educational level it does not happen, but that some parents of primary school students are overwhelmed by having to measure the educational content they provide to their children. However, in his opinion, the children are not going to miss the course, nor are they experiencing this crisis as a nightmare: "They are happy to be with their parents, they are living another way of playing at home, recovering family life, traditional games, eating together. It will be a very enriching time for them."

How this crisis is faced in Special Education: getting them to stay connected to their educators

Every morning at 9:00, parents receive an activity pack that the teachers have created the day before, and according to their family situation, they put them into practice. The team of the CyL (Communication and Language) classroom at Colegio Montgó is made up of two teachers, Ana Vallés and María Ramos, and an educator, María Ángeles Rivera: "The week of failures we had to update ourselves from zero to one hundred in tools for teachers, to be able to work online and meet the needs of our students ". They quickly investigated what platforms they needed and set about creating content.

"When he gets up he puts on his school bag and doesn't take it off all day"

His students are Eight children aged 5 to 11 years with a diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders): they want to go back to school but they don't control the time. As a mother explained to them, "He puts on his school bag and doesn't take it off all day." For them everything has to be very flexible, very visual and very auditory: "The most important thing is that they continue to be connected to us, that they know that we are there, that they continue to see and listen to us". So much of the resources they provide parents are recordings of themselves. They also use a lot of pictograms, schematic drawings so that they easily understand the concepts, like this one with which they have explained what happens to the coronavirus:

The team of educators points out another very important aspect that has emerged in these days of quarantine: according to the BOE, people with functional diversity can go outside Carrying the document that accredits it, however, they are receiving testimonies from parents who have difficulties walking with their children with ASD because there are people who reproach them. "The police act very well, they know perfectly well that children with ASD have permission to leave. The request for respect is for some people who see a mother or father with a child who physically have no difference, and do not understand it."

Quarantine in Primary Education and ESO: more content but with flexibility

Amadeo Ballester is the pedagogical director of the Sacred Heart School, and also teaches from 1st to 4th of ESO in Mathematics and Physics and Chemistry. The clearest summary of the situation is that overnight they had to go from face-to-face classes to assemble everything at home: "The week of glitches allowed us to get up to speed on technologies, we drenched in tutorials and made a huge effort." Because of his role in school, information reaches him at all levels and he values ​​the creativity of all: "There are teachers who are making videoconferences with the students in which they go further: the teacher disguises himself and the children disguise themselves, for example."

Those of ESO's evaluations coincided with the state of alarm, so they made them on-line. Precisely with ESO students they meet every day for a class: Amadeo first sends a video with a preview of what the class will be, and he quotes them within an hour on a videoconference platform. Students can also email teachers, and tutorials are held to reassure families.

"The most important thing is to find a balance so that they do not miss the course and can combine the contents with spending time with their parents and siblings."

Ballester points out that many kids ask them what will happen with their notes, their main concern: "You approve us all and that's it" It is a very repeated phrase. The teacher believes that what is important is what is behind the student: if the family is involved, reading the emails and following up on the child's tasks is easier. Everything from the point of view of finding a balance between family situation and the application of the contents provided, without rigidity.

"The transition from face-to-face education to online takes years, and we have had to do it in days"

As the professor explains, there is great solidarity at the educational level, educators are innovating and sharing what they discover with others, in order to quickly take a leap that could have taken several years.

The end of the course

"I am especially concerned about ESO fourth graders, whom I want to leave at the best possible level so they can change stages" Ballester says. You are considering taking tests on-line, that they will not be able to count the same: "I do not know what value I am going to give them. Depending on when we return, the Ministry will give us more specific instructions to finish the course."

Tips for the education of children and adolescents at home

We compile all the practical recommendations taken from the conversations that Dénia.com has had with the teachers, to help families in these weeks:

  • Take advantage of this time to be with your children, listen to them. When this time passes you may miss it.
  • During the morning strip, set them up for a routine. If they are small or have special needs, make a visual schedule with pictograms or drawings that mark what they will be doing throughout the day.
  • To the best of your ability, use the material provided by the teachers, put their videos and songs on them.
  • Do not isolate yourself, communicate with other fathers and mothers and do not stay alone.
  • Teenagers locked up with a mobile continue to socialize. But it is important to find a balance of time between screen, school content and family.
  • And it must also be taken into account that the teenager needs his space. If you want to be in your room, let it be, but better with the door open, so that it has a certain relationship with family life.
  • Do not come into direct conflict with the young man, they go straight. It is not easy, but try it.
  • Finally, they must get involved in household chores so that they learn that they are not "princes" or "princesses" and that they know the value of collaborating.
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