Sponsored By :: Sylvan Learning Center of Central Texas

As we all try to rise above and rise together, we know that parents need support. We know this school year will be different but no matter what your family’s needs are, Sylvan Learning Center of Central Texas has solutions to make the transition back to school successful. They’ve adapted to the new ways schools are opening with new programs and new schedules.

Last year teachers were gathering to welcome our students back, in person, everyone could feel the anticipation rise in the energy around us. “Welcome Back” signs adorned our campus, seating charts, books, iPads (to be used sparingly), bright colors and a plethora of tools adorned the tables and walls to help increase the students comfort and excitement for the year ahead. What a change 2020 has been. As this new school year starts, our preparation has looked quite a bit different. We have new challenges and hurdles to overcome. But overcome them we will.

I think I can speak for all teachers and say we became teachers for that in-person connection, the laughter, the community, the impact that is made each and every year. We became teachers for that eureka moment when a child learns to read, understands a concept that has been taught and graduates to a new level. This pandemic is changing everything as we know it, and as always we need to progress. To be a teacher means to be caring, thoughtful, willing to adapt and evolve, going the extra mile to meet every student’s needs. Not seeing students in person breaks each and every teachers heart. But it also gives us the chance to rise above and show how we can overcome this challenge. To be a teacher means to think outside the box. The power of eye contact, regardless of speaking to students through a screen is incredibly powerful. Showing a personal interest in each student regardless of being on screen is still so important.

When teaching goes from in-person instruction to on-line instruction, a great deal of
concerns arise. Not only is it incredibly challenging to deliver quality lessons to students (I want to help hands on!), but these students, these children need and thrive on social and emotional contact (I am a hugger and so many of our littles need that comfort). Teachers are responsible for making sure the students master the learning. This is an even greater responsibility and challenge when done virtually. We are concerned that our lesson plans will not relate through the screen, we are concerned about adapting to differentiation for all our learners, we are concerned about students who are in need for special services and who experience learning disabilities. We want to make sure all students needs are met. We are concerned about technical difficulties that keep us from learning together online.

Sylvan Learning CenterIt is crucial for children to receive not only the stable and nurturing environment they receive from their teachers, but the interpersonal skills they receive when communicating with their peers. Learning pods can be a beneficial way to fill this void in a virtual learning world. This gives the ability for students to meet in small groups to discuss different parts of what they are learning, read together, share together, see face to face expression and interaction – which is so important for growth. Partnering with another parent or two nearby may be one of the best ways to bridge this gap. Ways to create that connection from afar is finding a pen pal, brain breaks with a sibling (dance it out!), getting outside exercise with a neighbor safely distancing, yet still enjoying each other’s company. When parents have a moment in their day, sharing a bonding moment by being creative can fill a child’s cup in more ways than one.

As this year develops, the key factors should be flexibility and emotional support. There
are incredible tools at your fingertips to help every household no matter their learning
situation this fall. Take advantage of these tools and remind parents should remind
themselves daily that you are not in this alone. Finding a support group to help
encourage you and suggest different tips would help in the long run as well. School year
2020-2021 you will be set apart as nothing like the rest, but through this adversity we
will rise above and rise together.

As we all try to rise above and rise together, we know that parents need support. Sylvan Learning Center of Central Texas is offering school resources as low as $9!

Sylvan Learning CenterWe know this school year will be different but no matter what your family’s needs are, Sylvan has solutions to make the transition back to school successful. They’ve adapted to the new ways schools are opening with new programs and new schedules.

For more information on School @ Sylvan and our North & Central TX locations please visit http://bit.ly/MIShome.

Lauren Wiatrek is a native Austinite that after moving to New York and Colorado, decided her heart was in the center of Texas. Her husband, Evan helped build their family of daughters in a home they love. After battling stage 3 breast cancer in 2017 Lauren has become a strong voice for wellness, health advocacy, and her faith. Lauren loves to travel every chance she can get. Lauren enjoys extra hot coffee on the porch, her F45 workouts, Young Living lifestyle, being all things as a #girlmom and helping empower women. Lauren started her journey with cancer on her blog www.bestillandsmile.com you can also follow her on her Instagram: @lauren.wiatrek for motherhood tips and her wellness journey after cancer.

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