Due to covid 19, new rules have been made in the elementary school. For the young elementary kids, adjusting to the new rules of social distancing and keeping their masks on could be difficult. With all these new changes happening, challenges for the teachers are beginning to appear. Mrs.Uppena, a 3rd grade teacher here at Potosi, has found ways to work out those challenges while keeping her students safe and still maintaining the fun learning atmosphere that elementary school is supposed to be.
One of Mrs. Uppena’s challenges began with making sure all of her students are socially distanced and making sure they are wearing a mask. With the small classrooms, Mrs.Uppena had to rearrange her room by removing furniture and carpets so that all 17 of her students could fit.
The next challenge for Mrs.Uppena was figuring out how the students were doing with all the change that was going on. Being socially distanced means there is limited recess outside, and special classes, when students normally would leave their classroom and go to a different classroom, are now held in the same classroom students have been in all day. Being inside the same room all day could affect these students' mental health. Kids are just not meant to spend the whole day inside.
Research has suggested that time spent in nature and moving around improves mood and mental health. Mrs. Uppena has found creative ways to get her students moving and ways to get them outside. When it was warm enough outside, she took her students out to eat lunch. With the colder weather approaching the kids have adapted to eating lunch inside the room now, and they are enjoying it. “I think my students and I are just so happy to be able to be learning and at school that we definitely adjusted quickly.”
Reminding the 3rd grade about wearing their masks is no problem because they have adjusted to it. They understand that this is now the new normal. Mrs. Uppena’s students are taking their iPads home every night with the idea in their mind that in person school is never guaranteed the next day. They have been taught how to connect to the Zoom link if they are told they cannot come back to school.
For 8 year olds, these kids have adjusted very well. “I know my students and I are so ready to be back to normal, but until then, we have each other and we will wear our masks as long as we have to if it means that we can be at school learning together.”