A Teacher Named COVID-19

Calling all Elementary school students and their parents! A reflection on what students can learn from this substitute teacher

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It has been more than two months since schools closed. No teachers. No friends. No play. But while we sit at home, there is a lot we can be grateful for: safety at home, food centers to help with meals if needed, and the healthcare workers, cleaners, farmers, mail deliverers and more who are working hard so we don’t have to. Still, we all miss our teachers and those lessons that we know will make us smarter and prepared. 

Fortunately for us students, learning hasn’t stopped. We aren’t in a classroom anymore but are still learning a lot from this virus that is worth reflecting on:

  • Clean Hands

When your teacher tells you all to clean your hands before you eat your snack or after going to the bathroom, it seems a bit annoying because we don’t think we need to. It’s hard to imagine that we’d be sitting at home all because of a virus! Clean hands are important, because even though we can’t see the germs and viruses, they are still on our hands, waiting to go attack our body, just like the coronavirus. Germs are like glitter on our hands: rubbing with water won’t get the glitter away–we need soap! Soap pulls away all those germs from your hand and stops you from getting sick. This also shows us that keeping our fingers away from our mouth, covering our mouth with our elbow when we sneeze, and staying home when we’re sick is SO important! 

  • Calling People You Love

Before everything closed down, we could meet a lot of our loved ones in person, but now that’s not a good idea. Maybe your grandparents live away from you, and they enjoyed when you used to come over and spend time with them. Even though that’s not possible anymore, we still have a lot more power than we think. Giving a simple video call, handmade card, or email to your friends or your grandparents who are alone can make everyone feel a lot stronger together.

  • Enjoying Quiet Time

Remember that it’s okay to feel sad and uncomfortable right now. A lot of our favorite activities are cancelled, and we can’t meet our friends– that’s hard. During this time, it is a good idea to have some quiet time and think about how we’re feeling. During quiet time, I like focusing on breathing slowly or getting some sun and listening to nature!

  • Doing What Brings You Happiness 

If you have free time, why not try a brain game, rewatch cartoons, figure out how to play your favorite sport indoors, or help your parents clean your room! Maybe you can spend some time planting a seed and discovering what it needs to grow. Thinking of throwing the paper scraps, toilet paper rolls, or shampoo bottles? Explore how you can create something new and cool with them. Reduce, reuse, recycle! 

Let’s take a moment to think about how we’ve grown. Are you washing your hands more now? Are you more grateful to all the people working hard to keep us safe? Are you trying to discover something new at home? Share with your family what you have learned or realized during your time at home. We’ve learned four things so far from this new teacher named COVID-19…let’s keep going! 

Vainavi Gambhir is a certified kids yoga teacher studying at Walter Johnson High with a passion for child health and wellness. 

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