Students & Children
Schooling during the Coronavirus pandemic has been tough and huge change. It has exacerbated the learning gap among students in tougher home situations. Students who have the necessary support are still learning while those who don’t have it are falling behind their peers. This will have lasting impacts on their learning and can widen divides already seen in attainment based on factors such as race and income. It has also led to many students becoming isolated socially. This loss of social situations among peers can make it tough for children to interact with others and support each other. Students have expressed boredom and often talk about spending a lot of time looking at screens to game, watch videos or check social media. Students have responded talking about the ways they are staying entertained and how they are feeling during this difficult time.
Many students are experiencing a period of mourning, without their teachers and friends, and the loss of significant milestones such as graduations or end of year activities. Others are facing far more serious problems of hunger, neglect, and trauma amidst economic crises and a lack of school interventions. In the virtual classrooms we observed this term, student attendance, particularly for younger students was very low, often less than half the class, and many students did not have the ability or the motivation to continue their school work during closures. For this reason, many or our student submissions will offer a skewed perspective toward those students who had the materials, internet, and home environment necessary to complete this assignment, and they were completed at the prompting of both teachers and parents. Schools have responded across the country in attempts to bridge these gaps, offering creative curriculums and new methods of instruction such as television or paper packets.
Supportive Messages for Students and Teachers at Sayeik: Gastineau Elementary School, Juneau, Alaska