Being a Early Childhood Educator or teacher in the middle of a pandemic, is an entirely different beast.  Public school teachers are the new hero’s and zero’s of our communities.  Some families are angry for not having in person classes available while others see the struggle public school teachers daily face trying to manage a new corner of learning.  Classroom management through a computer screen isn’t something Elementary, Junior High and High School teachers went to college to learn about.  As Preschool and Early Educators, we are partnering with our school teachers to offer a small POD for school age kids at one of our locations.

Our teachers are learning the delicate balance between the daily changing public school meetings/schedules and the needs of school age children to be active during a pandemic.  The need to participate in art.  To go outside and jump around.  The online classrooms have many different requirements but all the students are on different schedules.  This makes managing a “one room school house” a real challenge for the ECE teacher now turned Elementary Educator.  What does this look like at Bend Preschool?

Students are having an outrageous amount of fun, enjoying being in a small class.  Having freedom’s they have never dreamed of experiencing.  Being able to stop and play with lego’s when their brains are full and they need a break.  Having a “reading buddy” be a classmate and friend.  Teachers who love and embrace art and silliness.  Teachers likewise are enjoying the in-depth conversations about life, reading clubs and not needing to help with toileting.  This is some of the positive parts of teaching during a pandemic.

The laughter that roars out of the classroom in between video sessions, I often have to giggle.  Kids that pass by and want a hug or tell me a funny story from the day.  I think, “wow, this is such a special time these kids are so enjoying.  Who would have thought something as horrible as COVID could produce such great memories for these children?

The teachers all deserve our thanks and gratitude.  The Washington Post recently had a great story about the struggles of teachers who are behind our computers.  For rising to the challenge.  Taking on something new.  Being bold and fearless in the face of something there is no road map for.  I simply have to say, you all are the best.  Thank you for stepping up and stepping into the gap.  For families and for the kids, I say thank you!!

What has this year looked like?  Challenging, so many challenges for us in teaching, yet our cup of joy is full… no overflowing.  The laughter and excitement of our students brings new joy each day of this “pandemic.”  We choose to celebrate the life we are getting to live each day in these unique times.  Who would have ever thought a preschool could have a one room school house?!  To this we say, “L’Chaim,” to life!

If you are looking to join a wild team of teachers in the middle of the pandemic, please reach out to us.