“It always helps to have people we love beside us when we have to do difficult things in life.” – Fred Rogers

We’ve now completed our fourth week of learning from home, teaching from home, and for many of us who are non-essential workers, staying at home. Typically, when I look for things to share in the newsletter, I choose a topic or theme from weekly happenings in the classrooms. Two themes that are emerging from our virtual classrooms right now are care and connection. The love and care that our Preschool faculty have for their students and how those relationships and connections are continuing to flourish is clear through their live class meetings. From the sweetest show-and-tell that I have ever witnessed in the Panda class to a scavenger hunt by our Adventurers class, from Ms. Kelly’s science experiments (she loves to make messes) to Ms. Carmen’s class sharing mystery box clues in their zany hats – these connections within our classroom communities are so important right now. It is important for our friends to see each other and talk to their teachers, whatever the topic might be. 

Supporting your child’s social and emotional development right now is just as crucial as any academic work you might be working on at home. Our children’s lives have shifted significantly from being with friends to being at home. They don’t understand why they can’t come to school and at this age, they don’t have a true concept of time. When talking to your children about COVID-19, we recommend keeping your conversations brief and honest – you don’t need a lot of detail. It is normal for children to be emotional right now, and in some instances more difficult to manage. They need outlets for stress. Pretend play, drawing, coloring, a walk outside (change in scenery), and talking about their feelings are healthy ways to support their emotional development. “Caring for Preschoolers at Home,” an article from Harvard Graduate School of Education’s newsletter Usable Knowledge, offers helpful tips on supporting preschoolers’ social and emotional development.

Before our closure, the Preschool faculty was preparing for Parent-Teacher Conferences. They were asked to abruptly take a U-turn and begin preparing lessons to teach remotely. Now that we’ve had a chance to catch our breath, we will be ready to meet with families virtually for Parent-Teacher Conferences + Check-ins Wednesday, April 22nd – Friday, April 24th. Your child’s teacher(s) will email you more information about sign-up times and the link for your meeting. We hope that this gives you an opportunity to talk with your child’s teacher(s) about his/her needs, and provides a follow-up to the conversations we started at Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences. 

Lastly, I want to mention the quote at the top of this article that was written by Mr. Rogers. It is our hope that you have people you love with you to help you through these uncertain times. We continue to look forward to brighter days ahead, together.