by Andrea Elston
I really struggled with how to start this blog post. I wanted it to be encouraging and informational, but to be honest, I am so tired of “we’re all in this together,” and “we’ll get through this.” Quite frankly, if I hear the words “these unprecedented times” on one more commercial, I may actually throw the remote at the TV. I did not want it to be yet another piece of media pushing an agenda and telling parents what they should do about their child’s education, or telling teachers what amazingly helpful tips I have for distance learning, should that be the case in the fall. To be honest, I am currently neither!
I am not a parent, and although I spent 20 years in the classroom and will always be a teacher at heart, I did not have to endure the abrupt switch to remote learning and all the logistics that accompanied it this year. I also did not want to send a bunch of links to multiple online resources! From what I can tell, parents and teachers are already getting inundated with those from countless other company websites, forums, organizations, etc. I figured you are all “linked out” by now! I would be! So for my first blog post, I am going to just share my thoughts from the heart.
Parents, whether you choose for your child(ren) to be educated through traditional or non-traditional methods next year, it will be the right choice. You know your child, you know your circumstances, and you know what’s best for your family. Fortunately, we live in a country where we are free to make that choice and, as has been proven by these unprecedented times (I couldn’t help myself), there are a plethora of resources out there to support your decision. When it comes right down to it, all children are homeschooled. It doesn’t matter whether they attend a public school, private school, charter school, online school, co-op, or an actual homeschool program, education begins in the household. Parents are the teachers and life is the curriculum. My encouragement to you this summer is to continue homeschooling your children. Use resources if you wish, but the bottom line is, if you have created your “classroom” as a place that operates on love, standards, boundaries, consequences, follow-through, safety, trust, and respect, your “students” will flourish no matter what school looks like for them in the coming months.
Teachers, I don’t know how you did it! I am so impressed by what I saw and heard from my friends and colleagues that were in the trenches every day, trying to figure out what to do just to survive, first of all, but then how to improve as the year went on. I know teachers are innovative, but this event took everything to a whole new level! My encouragement to you this summer is to relax and revel in your accomplishments! Again, there is much uncertainty about the next school year, more or less depending on where you live, but as a whole, teachers and administrators have shown that they can handle whatever comes their way to create an educational environment, whether physical or virtual, for students to thrive!
Bottom line, the mission of Shine-A-Light Press will always be to provide supportive and supplemental resources to help educate the next generation…in whatever capacity and from whatever location! Whether you are an administrator looking to give your staff all the resources you can to help them succeed, a teacher looking for another fun and creative way to reach your students, or a parent wanting to take advantage of any and all educational materials out there, Shine-A-Light Press is committed to providing products that give you those options!
Don’t ever hesitate to contact me directly with questions, comments, suggestions, and thoughts. And rest assured, I have plenty of favorite resources and links to share in the future!