“The struggle is real.”
This is a phrase being repeated by our students this year.
The pandemic’s effect on our students is immeasurable but can be heard through social media.
The lack of social contact, loss of activities and sports mixed with online learning have taken their toll. Once confident and successful students are feeling anxious about classes, and now want to drop out at the tender age of 13. Others get physically ill at the idea of logging on. Many won’t turn on their video to be seen by the teacher or classmates. Small challenges when students were in schools now feel exponentially more difficult for them.
This is no fault of the armies of talented and dedicated teachers that work endless hours to prepare, learn new technology methods and expend large amounts of energy to keep students interested. But online learning is challenging and has brought up fears and frustrations that weren’t a part of in-person learning.
“I worry about my peers. They seem very disengaged with online school.”
“I feel socially isolated, my friends seem depressed.”
The struggle is real.
However, our community can help as students start to re-enter their school buildings by donating to “Help Reconnect Students and Schools,” a fundraising campaign by The Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools. Donations would help fund part-time teaching staff that would support full-time teachers by teaching segments of their classes.
Small group learning is not new. It is used in many of our schools, especially for reading and math. It allows staff to tailor the pace and level of learning and offers more opportunity to address students’ needs. It also builds relationships and helps students connect with their teachers and subjects. It builds student trust and confidence in their abilities.
Funding part-time staff is not a new theme for the Foundation. It has been a focus since its creation 30 years ago. Donors have generously helped fund an average of 35 part-time teaching staff each year to support subjects like reading and math, as well as new projects for students seeking additional challenges.
They also have offered instruction in recognizing and redirecting frustration and anger, being a good sport on the playground and learning tolerance. This social and emotional learning has contributed to a marked reduction in recess arguments, referrals to the office, and angry behavior that is often carried into the class. Disruptive personalities have become more engaged in the class. At a time when youth are feeling anxious or sad, and many do not understand why, teaching in this area will help students reconnect with their education.
Donations funded part-time staff for yoga, vocal clinics and mini robotics. Offerings like these could be the spark next year that ignites a student’s interest and desire to connect with school.
If you would like to help, you can donate to the Foundation for Tigard Tualatin School through Mar. 30.
Donate online at: www.the-FTTS.org, or by mail at: Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools, 6960 SW Sandburg St., Tigard, OR, 97223