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Early Learning staff stay connected with parents and children as programs shift to e-learning

As our Early Learning program’s staff and families shelter in place, our teachers are finding ways to stay engaged with parents and kids!

Let’s hear from some of our teachers across Metropolitan’s Chicago Early Learning centers on what it’s been like to teach remotely:

 Midway Children’s Center

Vanessa shares:

“While this has been a stressful and critical time for everyone I am happy to say no one is losing hope. There have been many adjustments to my everyday routine beginning with not seeing the children everyday. I communicate with families weekly and the children are excited to hear from me. Many families are adjusting to the changes and remaining hopeful this will end soon.

I have shared many resources with families and continue to look for different resources daily. A child told me today “hey I’m not finished learning about trees yet!”. Prior to closing our center our study was about trees. I assured him I would share different books about trees along with activities he can do at home.

We are finding different ways to communicate and help our families daily. Their gratitude is shown in every picture or video I receive. Seeing the wonderful things they are doing at home gives me motivation to keep moving forward through the unknowns.”

Jacqueline shares: 

“Being an early childhood educator, I find it very challenging to be working from home during this time. I am aware that we must take safety measures. I have reached out to several parents to see how they are coping with the crisis. I have also updated families on positive resources that are available on many websites.”

Miriam shares: 

“We’re going through tough times but a positive thing is that I’ve been in constant contact with the families. It makes me upset not being able to interact with them in person but being able to see them through media/pictures makes me feel happy.

My routine has changed in the sense that we’re not having face to face conversations with the families. As a community we are very affectionate, so of course, I miss that interaction. I also miss the good morning hugs and smiles from the children.

It’s important to adapt and find ways to continue supporting families because it’s a good distraction from everything that’s going on around us. We always want to keep looking for ways to keep the children engaged, continue learning, and making their awesome brains grow.

What gives me hope is that we have to keep moving forward, taking advantage of what we do have like technology and not focus on what we don’t have right now. Instead, lets focus on what we do have and make the best of it.”

Midway Learning & Wellness Center

In addition to food and take-home activity boxes, staff are working to fulfill parents’ requests of books and hygiene items like diapers and wipes.

Miranda shares: 

“Parents have been understanding, and the Family Support Workers have been checking in with them 2/3 times a week.

I think for many it’s just really hard to conduct everything virtual, so for those few minutes that the parents get to see staff and we get to see them is great.

The parents have told us that the kids keep asking when are they going back to school.”

North Children’s Center