How to Press Forward and Maintain Wellness
By Stephanie Rosario Rodriguez, Knowledge Manager
Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak across the globe, many schools, afterschool programs, and other businesses are closing temporarily, in the hopes of curbing the spread of the virus.
While some schools have implemented “remote classrooms,” either through online engagement or activity packets, others are still trying to develop a plan to continue youth engagement during this time.
Many of us are familiar with the “summer learning loss” that occurs during the summer months when youth begin to fall behind due to the lack of educational enrichment during their extended breaks. I’ve developed a list of resources and online programs that can help you keep the momentum going, even during social isolation.
Remote Learning Resources
What started as a simple Google Doc for educators to share resources, quickly grew to much more than that. Amazing Education Resources has an abundance of recommendations for collaborative programs, unit lessons, SAT Prep Materials and much more! This guide is targeted to grades k-12.
In addition, Google Arts & Culture Virtual Tour is a great way to take a stroll through a museum, without leaving the comfort of your couch! Travel to the world’s greatest museums with your own personal docent (museum guide), maybe you’ll learn something new about an old favorite!
There are plenty of creative projects that can be done with everyday household items
At our individual Clubhouses, I’ve encouraged coordinators to look at creative learning programs that focus on homeschooling–there are plenty of creative projects that can be done with everyday household items. In addition, encourage your teens to use the free trials of various software and programs, this way they’re still able to continue producing music or designing logos, while they’re out of the Clubhouse. LearningLiftOff has a great list of resources ranging from free lessons to educational videos, experiments, games, and activities.
Mental Health Matters, Too
Lastly, I want to make sure you, the educator, are taking care of yourself during this time. All of this is new and concerning and you need to take some time for yourselves. Along with the resources above, here are some tips for mental wellness in the time of COVID-19 from the blog Active Minds.
Maintain routines as much as possible. Whether you are returning home or participating in online learning from your dorm temporarily, try to maintain your typical schedule throughout the day.
Practice healthy habits and the kinds of self-care that most benefit you. Prioritize getting a healthy amount of sleep, eating well, avoiding alcohol, and moving or exercising regularly.
Avoid crowds – but stay connected. School closures can mean you might find yourself distanced from the people you would normally see on campus. If so, make the effort to stay connected through social media, email, texting, and video calls. Take advantage of new opportunities to see friends and loved ones close-by.
Seek news only from reliable sources, and only in short stints. As with all things, we can find ourselves over-consuming news and updates. Try not to become absorbed in the coverage for long periods of time and find opportunities to appropriately disconnect.
Take breaks to ease your mind and distract yourself when you start to worry. Play a game. Watch a movie. Take a yoga class. Try a meditation app. For more coping skills to consider, head to activeminds.org/selfcare.
Additional Reading and Resources:
- Ten Tips for Cultivating Creativity, From the Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT
- Free online, year-round courses offered by MIT
- edX has over 2,500+ courses from multiple colleges
As the Knowledge Manager, Stephanie Rosario Rodriguez is the champion of organization-wide knowledge-sharing, developing and managing implementation of institutional knowledge. In addition, she supports innovation and promotes the introduction and integration of new ideas from external thought partners into the Clubhouse community.