Education Update

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Aaniin Everyone:

It has been approximately 4 weeks since we have been in self isolation and I hope everyone is doing well!  In this time of isolation, everyone has had to adjust, and this includes students and parents.  I too am adjusting to a different work life as are my children with respect to their education.  For anyone who agrees that this has not been an easy task, I say to you that it is okay to be overwhelmed.

The roller coaster of emotions and uncertainty plays a part in how we decide to create different spaces within our homes to accommodate this new reality.  It has taken me, most of the 4 weeks of isolation to find and create a structure for myself with work, and for my children as they shift into online learning.  I am not sure how long this new reality will be in place; but I do understand completely why it is important to physically distance from others, so that we can help to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

School closures then make sense at this time due to the inability for schools in their current set up to be able to provide students with the ability to physically distance. Online learning has as much value as learning in the classroom and especially during this time. What is most important for Elementary and Secondary students to do, is to learn online at their own pace, and that should create an opportunity to not compromise their learning. Learning can happen anywhere indoors or outdoors in the yard if appropriate given the physically distancing rules in place.

Teachers of Elementary and Secondary students have been reaching out to parents and students through a variety of ways in order to engage students and resume learning. Seesaw, Edsby, Google Classroom, YouTube, Twitter, email and telephone calls are a few examples of how this outreach is taking place.  If you are unsure as a student or a parent on how to navigate the internet for you or your child’s learning, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can either coach/guide you through the process or provide you with written information on how to navigate to get to your information destination on the net.

Chunking up the day and information or tasks that you or others have created, will help you in completing projects to then remove items off of your to-do-list.  Yes, it is important to create an education or work to-do-list as that then establishes structure—because there is focus and direction.  Once the list is being worked on, students or as parents working from home, we can see the benefits that the list provides and as such, we then are more likely to stay the course of working through our daily tasks during these times of a new working from home environment we find ourselves in at this time.

Online learning can be intimidating because it does take skills and we have to make sure we are not without a structure and a purpose for why we are learning what we are learning.  For example, if you are learning about math, science, language, art, physical education, social studies, history, or you are in Post Secondary and you have to learn zoom or a web cam software meeting room technology in order to still be a part of your program of study, this may make you feel like you don’t quite know where to begin or if you are capturing all of the information that you are suppose to on the topic or technology because the internet is a vast pool of information. Typically, when conducting google searches for information, it is important to try and choose no more than 5 similar websites that discuss the topic you are learning.

I am available for educational support during the hours of Monday to Thursday, 9:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and I can be reached by you leaving your name, contact information and reason for your call to the number of 705-295-4421 or at kmacmurray@hiawathafn.ca. 

I remain in contact with our local school boards, schools, Principals, staff, Post Secondary Institutions as well as connecting with our current and upcoming Post Secondary students.  Should you need to connect with anyone at your child’s school or your Post Secondary Institution and need assistance, please do not hesitate to seek my support.

My hope is to provide a weekly check in with students through our HFN social media platforms to ensure students and parents know that education is right here with you providing some kind of advice, information guidance and encouragement for continuing to work online in your spaces that you have created that help you learn best!

Take and have a care everyone!

Miigwech,

Karrie MacMurray
Education Counsellor
Hiawatha First Nation