SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Many parents in Florida are helping their kids attend class in a virtual classroom setting amid the spread of the coronavirus.
Longwood Elementary teacher Sarah Hall said it was a big transition to distance learning, but teachers had the tools they needed.
"It's really been seamless, which is incredible," Hall said. "Teachers are famous for stepping up to the plate and rising above to meet any challenge."
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Hall also won the award for the 2020 Seminole County Public Schools teacher of the year.
It's been two weeks since students started learning in their homes instead of classrooms. Governor Ron DeSantis asked Hall to share how it has been going so far during a news conference this week.
"There's so much that's changing in our education world for not only teachers, but families and also students," she said. "Being able to contribute to this conversation of what this looks like in our classrooms and how this is working for not only the teachers, but our families is really important."
She adds this time may be challenging for not only the students but also for their parents. But she said parents know their children best.
"They're the experts on their children, so being able to leverage what they already know about their children and then create an environment where they're going to feel successful and safe and happy and excited about learning is really what is critical now," Hall said.
She is encouraging parents to not only focus on the books but to talk to their students as well and help them understand their emotions during this unprecedented time.
"So being able to have those conversations and let their children know whatever they're feeling, it's okay. But then give them those coping skills to be able to manage them in a healthy way is really going to make a huge difference," she said.
Hall shared five books with News 6 for parents to consider reading with their children to help them process the current situation.
Here are the five books she recommended:
- “I Love Your Rituals” written by Becky Bailey
- “Worry Says What?” written by Allison Edwards
- “ABC Mindful Me” written by Chrstiane Engel
- “Jabari Jumps” written by Gaia Cornwall
- “Wild Feelings: written by David Milgrim
“It is a great source for parents to resource to have some conversation points,” Hall said about recommending Bailey’s book.
Hall said she read “Worry Says What” to her students last week.
“The 6 and 7-year-olds I have the privilege of teaching this year really enjoyed this one,” she said.
Hall said, “ABC Mindful Me” helps students have a safe headspace right now.
The 2020 SCPS teacher of the year said “Jabari Jumps” helps students learn how to face their fears.
Hall said “Wild Feelings” will help kids be open about their feelings during this uncertain time.
She adds parents and teachers will work together to make sure students' needs are met.
“We are in this together...families, teachers, students and I know we will come out on the other side of this stronger,” Hall said.