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Coronavirus and the Life of Regular Teachers: How to Help

Coronavirus is a deadly infection that has locked
millions of people in their homes. The spread continues, and it’s unlikely that
we will all return to normal life in the nearest future. That is why it becomes
a vital necessity to adjust our new lifestyles to the demands of the
quarantine, still continuing to learn and educate.

Teachers are stresses over the well-being and
performance of their students and are coming up with various ways of teaching,
even during the times of a lockdown.

But is there a chance to help teachers during these hard days? Even though they are not fighting at the forefront of the disease, they still fight with a lack of knowledge, and this process mustn’t be stopped. If you are also a teacher struggling with the ways to help students, this article is for you!

What Teachers and Tutors Have to Say

Many educators think that people feel helpless in
times of a pandemic. And when they were asked what resources they could
recommend; the answer was not about the materials. Those teachers said that
they had to prepare lessons after a sudden school closure, so there were
absolutely no materials they can advise. Actually, they would be happy if
someone else recommended resources and materials that students could use
online.

Educators were willing to find sources that could be
easily shared with the students, whether in a printed version delivered by
drop-offs or virtually. Over 80% urged to provide ‘do something’ materials that
could be easily used remotely. And half of them asked for equity articles that
aimed at Asian American students, who greatly suffer from the pandemic, feel
stressed during the closure, and need help with learning online.

Additionally, we would like to share a range of
requirements and needs that educators have mentioned in some surveys on the Web.
First of all, they asked for online resources and platforms that could be
shared with students. They also wanted emotional support both for teachers and
students.

These educators asked for materials on social justice
in the times of a pandemic. Tutors as well urged to get distance learning
guidelines and physical resources for those who don’t have internet
access.

Another request was information on basic necessities
and requirements for families who are trying to take the role of teachers.
Below we have made a list of resources with links, which address all the above
issues.

Apart from requests on specific materials and sources,
there were also many calls on hope, collective responsibility, and the ways how
to cope with anxiety and stress that so many people are facing at the moment.

One of the best ways to contribute to society and to
help each other in times of a global quarantine is to meet the needs of the
community. We are all in this together, so let’s be responsible and help those
who are desperately looking for help.

Resources for Students

Teaching Tolerance has a broad database of resources,
which can be used for online learning and printing out. Their Student Text
Library https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/texts contains over 500 texts, including images, videos,
reading, and others. All the files can be filtered by subject, topic, and grade
level. The Film Kits https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/film-kits contains documentaries and discussions for students of
various academic levels. However, some of these materials require authorized
access for copyright issues.

But it’s rather easy to create a free account whether
you are a caregiver or a teacher. Educators are free to create group accounts
for classes, sharing login, and password with schoolers. Another way to use the
materials is to save PDF texts and send them to students via email. However,
the most secure and convenient option is sending the materials through course
management systems like Blackboard or Canvas.

In addition, Teaching Tolerance contains lessons,
which can be adapted both for students with online access or without it. While
we are still evaluating the efficiency of these resources, we strongly believe
that any of the below will improve lesson planning:

  • Lessons, which are based on The
    Color of Law https://www.tolerance.org/search?query=%22the%20color%20of%20law%22&f%5B0%5D=facet_content_type%3Alesson book, may be much deeper
    and embrace such topics as segregation, racism, and discrimination;
  • The New Jim Crow https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/publications/teaching-the-new-jim-crow lessons cover the topics
    of criminal justice, which can help schoolers to understand the connection
    between injustices throughout centuries;
  • Classes on Digital literacy and
    virtual citizenship https://www.tolerance.org/digital-literacy-lessons are crafted for K-12
    students, not depending on whether they have Internet access or not.

Do Something Classes

On their website, you can also find 34 ‘Do Something’ assignments https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/student-tasks/do-something. The majority of them are adapted for learning from
home. They are created to help students apply skills and knowledge in real-life
conditions. Here are a few classes that we like the most:

  • Oral History Project https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/student-tasks/do-something/oral-history-project. Here students can hold interviews at home to learn how individual experiences intertwine with the subjects they are studying;
  • Buddy Share https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/student-tasks/do-something/buddy-share, where students can share their paper writing help or art with classmates;
  • Identity Artifacts Museum https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/student-tasks/do-something/identity-artifacts-museum, where schoolers can display home items, which represent their personalities and outlooks.

Articles on Equity

The global quarantine made it difficult for tutors and
educators to plan the curriculum and educational programs. Another problem that
we can face is unequal access to online resources.

There are many poor students, those with disabilities, students with ESL, schoolers without normal access to food and commodities, as well as students, who have to work and take care of elderly relatives. We are already working on a list of resources and articles, which will help the most vulnerable categories of students to have equal access to study materials.

Here are a few sources that may be helpful:

  • Coronavirus and Rights of
    Disabled Students https://www.disabilityrightstx.org/en/handout/3880/ ;
  • Best Practices for Helping
    English Language Learners and their Relatives https://www.tolerance.org/professional-development/webinars/best-practices-for-serving-english-language-learners-and-their;
  • Engagement of Families and
    Communities https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/publications/critical-practices-for-antibias-education/family-and-community-engagement.

It’s impossible to predict how the Covid-19 pandemic
will influence schools and colleges in the nearest future and how long we will
stay inside: for weeks or even months. However, we strongly believe that
educators should continue teaching and helping students even without physical
presence.

Thus, we are ready to give our full support not to let
the crisis take away the right to education for those who are craving to gain
knowledge.

List of Resources for Educators

The first source we would like to mention is
Coronavirus Resources: Learning, Teaching, and Thinking Critically https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/11/learning/coronavirus-resources-teaching-learning-and-thinking-critically.html by the NY Times Learning Network. It includes
issues on the current state of events, teaching literacy on the issue of
Covid-19, basic questions, and suggestions on online discussions and debates.

Emotional support

Many students and educators feel stressed and worried
in times of pandemic. Thus, we need to focus not only on their physical health
and education but also on mental health. The sources below will be of great help:

  1. Crisis Text Line. https://www.crisistextline.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwsMzzBRACEiwAx4lLGy7UDkkODrOmncpKBkCzGDgXM_vsWrHS5Q25NeLudo8VMbRcuDOOZRoCjyEQAvD_BwE. It offers round-the-clock counseling. Text HOME to 741741;
  2. The Trevor Project https://www.thetrevorproject.org/. Self-isolation may be very difficult especially if you
    are an LGBTQ student and your family doesn’t accept your choice;
  3. Telling Children About
    Coronavirus. Resource for Parents https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/helping-children-cope-with-changes-resulting-from-covid-19. Published by the National
    Association of School Psychologists, these guidelines explain how to talk
    to children about the Covid-19 and a factual way in order to reduce stress
    and anxiety;
  4. Coronavirus resources and
    information https://www.nami.org/getattachment/Press-Media/Press-Releases/2020/COVID-19-and-Mental-Illness-NAMI-Releases-Importan/COVID-19-Updated-Guide-1.pdf?lang=en-US. These guidelines are
    published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and includes advice
    on how to deal with stress that is caused by the recent news, as well as
    tips for people with vulnerable relatives or for those, who are homeless;
  5. Care for Coronavirus
    Anxiety https://www.virusanxiety.com/. This website is filled with resources,
    which address the anxiety that teachers are experiencing: financial
    worries, xenophobia, isolation, etc.
  6. Guide for parents and
    caregivers to help families cope with the Covid-19 https://www.nctsn.org/resources/parent-caregiver-guide-to-helping-families-cope-with-the-coronavirus-disease-2019. This printable source is
    provided by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and is available
    in several languages. It includes information for parents and other
    caregivers on how to react and avoid stress in the light of current
    events.

Online resources any student can use from home

  1. Amazing Educational
    Resources, http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com/. It contains a list of
    educational companies, which are offering free of charge subscriptions,
    while the schools are closed;
  2. Free Learning Resources for
    Schools Affected by Covid-19 https://www.techlearning.com/resources/free-online-learning-resources-for-schools-affected-by-coronaviruscovid-19. This Tech Learning list
    contains hundreds of free platforms and sources, which cover all sorts of
    subjects of different grade levels and needs, including language learning
    and sex education;
  3. 200+ Online Learning
    Resources https://www.weareteachers.com/free-online-learning-resources/. This list is provided by the
    We Are Teachers and comes with lesson plans for all grades and learning
    platforms;
  4. Free Resources for Distance
    Learning https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/distancelearnresources.asp by the California
    Department of Education. It consists of a list of publishers, which offer
    resources for distance learning.
  5. Discovery Education https://www.discoveryeducation.com/. This resource offers free
    access to digital books and other materials for K-12 learning online;
  6. Doc Academy https://docacademy.org/, which contains free clips
    from documentaries. They come along with practical lessons and toolkits;
  7. TED-Ed https://ed.ted.com/. On the official website, TED
    users can find free videos on multiple educational topics;
  8. Storyline Online https://www.storylineonline.net/. This great website contains
    read-aloud books for younger readers. The books
    catalog includes multiple characters and authors;
  9. Storytime from space https://storytimefromspace.com/. This unique resource contains
    records of astronauts reading children’s books.

Printable resources

Not all students have Internet access, and it may be
difficult for them to keep up with the curriculum and classmates’ performance.
Below you will find sources that can be printed out.

  1. Curriculum Associates https://www.curriculumassociates.com/supporting-students-away-from-school. On this website you can find
    printable materials for K-8 grades in reading and math;
  2. All Kids Network https://www.allkidsnetwork.com/. Aimed at younger learners,
    this online source contains printable materials and worksheets;
  3. Scholastic https://www.scholastic.com/parents/kids-activities-and-printables/activities-and-printables-guides/free-printables-for-all-ages.html, which offers printable
    sources for K-8 grades.

Coronavirus and social justice

We have already highlighted the importance of understanding the historical background of the discussions surrounding coronavirus. Even when learning remotely, Let’s Talk https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/publications/lets-talk and Speak Up https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/publications/speak-up-at-school guidelines will help students and educators formulate answers to the frequently asked questions and to initiate debates on the Covid-19 topics.

  1. When Xenophobia Spreads Like a
    Virus https://www.npr.org/2020/03/02/811363404/when-xenophobia-spreads-like-a-virus?fbclid=IwAR19q-iwL5QxdNnrOicM44w-FHSH8pjNX-KR3rmh-g-N6m6N2Jh2HmLYA1Y%20Educational%20Divide/Dilemma. The article contains personal
    stories of how xenophobia affects people across the US during the Covid-19
    outbreak;
  2. Support for educators during
    the coronavirus https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/support-teachers-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. The collection published by
    Facing History and Ourselves includes materials on preventing racism
    around the Covid-19 and resources, which will help students understand
    this period of crises;
  3. Coronavirus school closures
    expose digital divide https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2020-03-10/coronavirus-school-closings-expose-digital-divide. This brilliant article tells
    how several Federal Communications Commission members advocate for the
    ways how the FCC may step to help remote learning;
  4. Coronavirus and education of
    disabled students https://d28lcup14p4e72.cloudfront.net/245981/5082659/Resource%20List%20FINAL%20%28002%29.pdf. These National Disability
    Rights Network resources can help teachers provide virtual education to
    students with disabilities;
  5. Covid-19 resources and
    response https://thejusticecollaborative.com/covid19/ by the Justice
    Collaborative. This website helps explaining how incarcerated people have
    a higher risk of Covid-19.

Best materials for distant and online education

  1. Learning Keeps Going https://www.learningkeepsgoing.org/. Several educational
    institutions have created this website to collect tips, resources, and
    webinars for a smoother transition to online learning. It also consists of
    a help desk for tutors and a hotline for students;
  2. Three ways to turn a classroom
    remote in a hurry https://www.kqed.org/education/533275/remote-in-a-hurry. This KQED resource includes a
    set of learning tools and tips for effective distant learning;
  3. Resources for learning and
    teaching during the social distancing period https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/55521/resources-for-teaching-and-learning-during-this-period-of-social-distancing. This detailed article
    provides advice and resources for teachers to move to distance learning;
  4. How to teach virtual
    courses https://www.futurelearn.com/subjects/teaching-courses/how-to-teach-online by Future Learn. These
    free training programs help teachers master strategies for distance
    learning.

Resources for vulnerable populations

Families in need are at higher risk during natural,
environmental, and health crises. That is why we have made a list of sources
that may be of great use.

  1. Organizations that help people
    get food and medical assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/tasneemnashrulla/coronavirus-covid19-organizations-help-food-medical-aid. This Buzzfeed article
    contains a list of services, which deliver food, medicine, and other
    supplies not only in the US but also abroad;
  2. Coronavirus: Multilingual
    Sources for Schools https://www.colorincolorado.org/coronavirus. This website helps tutors to
    communicate with families in different languages;
  3. Talking Points https://talkingpts.org/. This application helps
    educators send messages to students and their relatives in their own language;
  4. Talking to Kids about Covid-19:
    ASL resources https://deafchildren.org/2020/03/talking-to-kids-about-coronavirus-asl-english-resources/. The American Society for Deaf
    Children provides information on the virus and its influence on the deaf
    community;
  5. Supporting families during
    coronavirus https://childmind.org/coping-during-covid-19-resources-for-parents/ by the Child Mind
    Institute. The collection of services consists of videos by clinicians,
    medicine services, and advises how to cope with anxiety and make children
    remain home.

Sources for caretakers

  1. Talking to children about the
    Covid-19 https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/, which offers tips that
    encourage open conversation on the topic;
  2. Covid-19 and parenting: what
    you should know https://www.npr.org/2020/03/13/814615866/coronavirus-and-parenting-what-you-need-to-know-now. This constantly updating
    resource contains tips on education and health during the pandemic;
  3. Scholastic learn at home https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html. It’s a free resource, which
    contains daily projects for PK-K, 1-2, 3-5, and 6+ grades;
  4. Khan Academy https://www.khanacademy.org/ offers free training
    courses for children in math, history, and science;
  5. Free subscriptions and
    resources for distance learning and homeschooling during the coronavirus https://qns.com/story/2020/03/16/free-resources-and-subscriptions-for-remote-learning-and-home-schooling-due-to-coronavirus/. This curated QNS list of free
    sources for remote learning in a variety of grades and subjects;
  6. Coronavirus: educational
    resources for kids at home https://www.kiro7.com/news/trending/coronavirus-learning-resources-kids-home-school/5TSTZSDKWNGV3HR4KF5YMVXQ34/. The article gives tips on how
    to structure home education.

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