Children and the internet

Staying home with teens in times of COVID19 #5 Adjust your pace!…

Easter is over, some children are back to remote learning and some schools have adapted the amount of time students are required to learn online (or offline).
They adjusted the pace of holding lessons online and if you ask me, it was so necessary to do so!
Following lessons 6 hours a day, navigating through different communication systems at once (!), finding out where the information to lesson 3, page 8 is, and what exercises and homework is due tomorrow, in 3 days, or no… in 3 weeks requires skills that our children don’t have (yet!).

Not to mention that sometimes logging into a platform or accessing the messages, emails etc. wasn’t possible.

Every school has been trying to manage this situation in the best (?) possible way, trying to keep up the pace they had when meeting students in their real classrooms. But that’s not possible.

Everyone who has been working online for some time knows that communication channels need to be clearly defined and accessible to all, at all times, that for live classes we have to give (and receive!) clear instructions, safe links, and enough time to connect. Not everyone has super fast internet connections.

Dear everyone – colleague, teachers, educators, friends…. – please adjust the pace of learning, teaching and working!

We had a break (Easter), but after every kind of break we need time to readjust to this all. What seemed to be a sprint at the beginning, is a marathon: therefore we have to lower the pace and focus more on how we can make sure we all get to the finish line!

Last week I have spent more than 23 hours in online meetings, sessions with clients etc. not counting the time to prepare the meetings and sessions and all the admin that comes with running your own business.

I know it is possible to schedule them in a way that there is no overlapping. For my scheduling I use Acuity (but there are many other tools of course!) where I make sure I have buffer zones of 20 minutes that allow me to stretch, get some fresh air, drink or eat something in between meetings. Some of my colleagues spend 4 hours or more in a row, sitting in front of their screens, up to 16 hours a day. That’s simply not healthy! Although I think that I managed to keep up a good pace and manage to organize it all in the best possible way, I feel like my (brain) muscles are sore from this all. In addition to this all, the “emotional” aspect of this all ask our “emotional” muscles (I can’t find a better way to express that “feeling”; please share a better definition of this in the comments) are constantly stretched, highly alert… exhausted.

After several weeks of online work and learning, we should all assess what works, what doesn’t, and speak up! Let colleagues, organizers, managers, teachers, friends etc. know so that we all can “breathe” and go through this in the healthiest way.

For me it is clear that last week was an exception. This week I have scheduled less meetings, I spend more time outdoors and include workouts in my daily schedule. – And I think that my children need the same kind of time offline too. They won’t be learning less, and, honestly: we can’t compare the end of this year’s school year with any other one before. It is different, schools need to find ways to assess the progress and take the circumstance into consideration. Why are some worrying that “this generation will once be labelled with “those who graduated in the COVID19 year””: that’s our reality, that is how it was in other times too (war times come to mind – there are still people who minimize the effect of this pandemic or avoid thinking of it). – So, let’s adjust the pace!

Everything we’re doing needs to be enough. We are all doing our best giving the circumstances and bars should be lowered or somehow changed.

How are your teenagers doing after all these weeks of remote learning?

How does this all affect them, and you?

Please share in the comments.
And I’m off for a break – but will be back in… 20 mins or 30… hm… not sure 😉 …

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