GVSU teacher advises on recent school closures, return to virtual learning

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – Several school districts in western Michigan have extended their Thanksgiving break in part due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

In many of these schools, large numbers of students skipped class due to illness or quarantine, putting parents in a familiar but still difficult position to facilitate learning.

“I thought we were done with this, but it continues. The disruption caused by COVID-19 to children in school is more present than ever right now, ”said Trevor Muir, who is a high school teacher, teacher and father at Grand Valley State University.

Her advice for navigating this latest learning challenge is to keep the kids on a schedule.

“We have to put structures in place for them and put them in routines even though the work they do is not the funniest thing in the world. We need to put these structures in place to really help our students get back into the learning and work program within these deadlines, ”he said.

Muir recommends that their home schedule mimic their school schedule.

For kids who are more reluctant to finish their work at home than in the classroom, Muir says the key is motivation.

“As a teacher, I have found that one of the best ways to inspire my students is to give it a purpose. If they have to write, and if you get them to write and make letters out of them that you send to retirement homes, ”he explained.

Muir found that when children know why they are doing something and that there is a reason behind it, they are more likely to engage and try harder.

Even the most patient and creative parents will have times when their kids just don’t want to do the job. That’s when Muir said it was a good idea to give them a break.

“I think what we need to do and I say this as a parent who has had kids at home as well, is to say that we are going to come back to this later because it is always worth doing. It’s still important, but let’s do something else now, ”Muir said.

One of the most important things Muir thinks parents can do is make sure their kids are always socializing. He says without these skills it will be even more difficult to teach them things like math and science.

As the days at home continue, Muir advises parents to make the most of the time spent outdoors and to be with other children in person or in a virtual setting, which is more important than to focus on each homework page.

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