Signet’s Response to Covid-19
Ready, set, go!
At Signet we too were met with the immediate challenge to find solutions for the learning process. How would our students manage the quarantine? Ready or not… like the childhood game chant, here it comes. Not only was there the issue of physical distancing from the teacher, but there was also the sudden lack of social interaction with peers and the entire support of our school community.
Thankfully, our teachers are flexible and nimble! Within an overnight of shifting their plans, they were able to create 2 weeks of lessons using the tools they had available and the ones that could be applicable for each child. Of course, since then, these 2 weeks have turned into 2 months and still, our teachers have arisen in true form, bringing our children into excellence.
However, all children are different. There are children who have challenges with Internet access at the time the class is meeting or children who struggle with attention deficit disorders or self-distraction. These children, without a teacher’s ready gaze and observation of the triggers we can provide in a traditional classroom, some children are in danger to fall through the cracks. But not at Signet, because our program is geared to the whole child and the whole class. With manageable class sizes (1:6 average), Teachers are seasoned in the curriculum. Even with the array of learning styles, they have the flexibility to adapt and make accommodations for any child no matter if they are virtual or not.
The key is being able to see what’s hidden. Those with learning challenges or the maladjusted student who is needy for attention, there is a chance of fallout so our teachers are on alert. Now you would say is every child so needy? Actually, we believe everyone benefits equally when provided with the attention they need. Since we not only observe weak areas, we also determine strengths very quickly too and so all children are able to thrive with the teaching program individually designed for them.
As a Christian school, we have the freedom to bring real solutions to children, families are checked daily and prayer or encouragement in the Lord are offered to parents. Teachers are able to do a quick assessment of the mental health of each child and their environment. Grief and loss coupled with the present fear in the society are also not ignored and if evidence of this is seen our staff is trained to bring comfort and guide children to healing and managing the season well.
The school of tomorrow, in fact, the school of today is upon us! The fully integrated solutions that the educational sector is facing is also something we too need to answer.
No longer a linear way of looking at school but a blended way of learning both online and face to face settings. Schools must rise to the challenge or face the consequences of being suddenly archaic. Similar to Enrique Dans’ article on April 13, 2020, in Forbes magazine,The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Unleashed A Revolution In Education: From Now On, Blended Learning Will Be The Benchmark. He sums it us with these statements about the revolution in education, “blended methodology that seamlessly integrates face-to-face and online teaching…”
Signet Christian high and elementary classes are ready for that revolution. We are using a mixture of online learning and distance learning of various kinds of nature to deliver coursework. With some parental facilitation for the younger children, all subject areas are being covered.
Some courses are using video conferencing while some children do well with an alternate technology. These are all new sensibilities which our staff has been ably navigating.
Our flexibility and ability to adapt has steered us to arise from old challenges so we are more courageous and nimble. Onward to a new day which is here.
“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”
Psalms 9:9 NLT
Catherine Dumé, MBA, MA Ed, (Honours)