One week into helping my children navigate remote learning with their respective schools while simultaneously trying to coordinate free online tutoring sessions to help students while schools are closed, I found a moment to hit pause & reflect on what’s happening to us & with us.
Having been immersed in math lessons, I find it easier for me to relate our current state of the world in those terms. Right now, we are facing a complex problem with multiple unknowns. Every day, we learn more about how these variables are operating (i.e., the exponential increase in confirmed cases, the limit of available hospital beds approaching zero, & the correlation coefficient between panic & hoarding). Every new piece of data seems to forecast greater uncertainty wrapped up in fear.
But I’ll leave it to the news stations & medical experts to give you your daily dose of all of those unpleasant unknowns.
I’d personally much rather focus on the known constants that are in our control. Here are 10 fundamental needs on which we could all benefit from focusing our energy & attention:
- We need to reach out & do what we can to help our neighbors, family & friends while protecting ourselves.
- We need to come together as a community while staying a socially safe distance away.
- We need to support our local businesses & charities while respecting the order to shelter in place.
- We need to do everything that we can for those who risk everything for all of us – health care professionals, first responders, & others on the front lines.
- We need to stay calm, stay sane, stay safe, & stay hopeful.
- We need to be grateful & find appreciation for the things that we used to take for granted.
- We need to dig deep to find the joy, peace, humor, & meaning amid all of the despair, chaos, gravity & chatter.
- We need to find a way to lift ourselves & each other up at a time when things appear to be tipping in the other direction.
- We need to bestow kindness & love upon each other & give ourselves grace as we navigate this new trajectory.
- We need to find & cherish the rainbows that are getting overshadowed by the gray right now.
As for the final point, hope & optimism are key to attracting & discovering rainbows when circumstances seem least likely to produce them. They allow us to catch a glimpse of the color spectrum even though the sun isn’t shining or the much-needed rain hasn’t yet arrived.
Here are a few noteworthy bursts of color during this trying time:
- Bracken’s Kitchen (@BrackensKitchen) is preparing & serving thousands of meals each week to the most vulnerable in our community during this pandemic. https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/human-interest/2020/03/23/nonprofit-kitchen-responds-to-hunger-crisis-during-covid-19-pandemic
- Khan Academy (@khanacademy) is helping to keep students of closed schools across the country engaged & learning through its remote learning schedules, lesson plans, & teacher support.
- Thousands of health care workers are volunteering to join the front lines & help with the pandemic crisis in New York.
These are just a few of the many hidden gems that are uplifting our community. Who do you see doing amazing things during this time? Which person, organization, business, or other group do you notice going above & beyond for others? Who deserves a shout-out for being extra awesome right now? Let’s share these so we can build momentum & collectively celebrate the bright spots in our world.
For my part, I will do whatever I can to help students continue to learn while their schools are closed.
I realize that, whether your students are participating in online learning through their schools or they are creating their own learning journey through printed & online educational resources, at some point, your children may get stuck or need further explanation than what is provided in their assignments or workbooks.
This is where I felt that we could best help students. By providing free online help while schools are closed, students can work through their questions with tutors & keep progressing academically. Students can drop in to any or all sessions & get their questions answered. We plan to offer this every Monday-Thursday while schools are closed, focusing on Language Arts at 4pm, Math at 5pm, & Science at 6pm. This consistent schedule will give students the help they need & parents the break they deserve. That sounds like a win-win to me! 🙂
We’ve reached out to some educational nonprofits & Title 1 schools & welcome your suggestions on others who may benefit from our services. To learn more about or sign up for MPP’s free office hours, please visit https://myprivateprofessor.com/support/
There are a host of other amazing educational resources available to help students during this time. We’re compiling a list of all of the free ones & testing each of them out to see which ones are the best; we will happily share our list of recommendations to anyone who is interested. If your family has been using a particular resource that you recommend, please let us know.
We are also putting together some fun activities & projects to share with families so that students can stay entertained while home-bound. Please follow us at @MyPrivateProfessor on Facebook to join our community. You have our commitment that whenever you hear from us, it will be to share things aimed to uplift the mind, heart, & soul.
We are all in this together. The desire to help others & the determination to do more for more are both in our control. Let’s give them the attention & focus they deserve.
P.S.: I admit that this may all sound a little cheesy, & I frankly think that is what is needed right now. As with my all-time favorite pizza, no matter which type of pie you are served in life, it will always taste better with an extra sprinkling of cheese. Who’s ready to pass the parmesan with me? 🙂