CSP Team Note: This is the first in a series of posts we’ll be sharing by Smarty guest blogger Mary Yorke Oates, Director of Admissions, Charlotte Latin School. We look forward to her expertise and point of view as we all try to navigate these unfamiliar waters.
I hope the Farmers’ Almanac’s classic statement, “If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb” holds true this year. And, I am not talking about the weather. As COVID-19 took Charlotte by storm during the first week of March, it is my sincere hope the infamous curve will flatten as April approaches.
Being a part of Charlotte Latin’s Administrative Team, I was brought into the early discussions of how COVID-19 would affect teaching and learning. As an Admissions Director who oversees daily tours of prospective families, I was monitoring the risk as the cases seemed to inch our way from the west and the northeast, giving us all pause about our usual welcoming approach to visitors. The one common factor then, as today, is that the story changed — and changed vastly — every 24 hours. Discussions swirled, predictions made, articles circulated, and before long, it seemed as the virus spread so did the content — some good, some bad. Like the swirling vortex in The Wizard of Oz, which way was home?
So now that we are not in Kansas anymore, how do we manage being home?
The only thing that has worked for me, based on the guidance I have been given by my Head of School, has been embracing boundaries and the rule of ONE:
– one office space, where all my work is contained
– one (and only one) national news source one time a day
– prioritize one thing that will help my family
– one list for today and follow it
– listen to my home student and don’t give one bit of advice
– one long walk a day
– (at least) one distracting and fun thing every day
– connect with (at least) one someone (outside of my family) every day
– read at least one time a day
So how does this translate to your child’s remote learning?
– one study place for your child
– endorse one source of media
– offer one thing your child can do to help out
– one list of “work to be done today” and follow it
– listen for the one real worry (is it the work, or the fear, or the isolation?)
– play at least one long stretch daily and read at least one long stretch daily
– suggest at least one fun thing to do
– encourage your child to connect with one friend (over the wall, on facetime, through secret deliveries and notes)
Our Head of School empowered us that “good enough” was ok. He said to take baby steps. Set limits for yourself. Separate the work from the play, and do both. Grab community where we can. We must remember, there is no action plan for times like these. COVID-19 is calling the shots for now. But, not forever, and when this is a distant memory the story will be ours to tell.
I hope that lamb shows up soon.
Charlotte Latin School
9502 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC 28277a
Admissions Office: 704-846-7207