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McGhee Shares Expertise on Remote Learning on WBAP Morning News

Marla McGhee, Professor of Educational Leadership and Director of the Center for Public Education, spoke with WBAP Morning News on Monday, Apr. 27 to share her expertise and tips for families tackling the challenge of completing the school year at home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Apr. 17 that Texas schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year.

Give Yourself Some Grace

We’re all in the same situation, and students, families and educators had to adjust to the crisis overnight, so we should all give ourselves a little bit of grace, she says. Teachers and administrators aren’t expecting families to homeschool their children.

Keep a Routine

Kids have been on a pretty serious routine when they were in school. If parents can establish some sort of routine for their children, even though kids may balk at it, they really like a predictable schedule, McGhee says. A routine can help students feel more anchored.

Dedicate a Place for Schoolwork

Kids need a designated place to do schoolwork, even if it’s the dining room table or a corner in a room, she says. This helps students get in the mindset for learning.

Not Every Moment of the Day Needs to Be Instructional

Many things go on at school that are socially motivated, talking with friends, eating lunch, and taking elective courses. We have to also have some play in the day, time to talk, read for pleasure and enjoy being together if possible, she says. This is a great time for children to start something new, like cooking with parents, exercising or playing outside, learning to play musical instruments or playing games.

Talk with Students to Review their Progress

Texas won’t have accountability testing this year, and that may be for the best, McGhee says. Reflect with your student and talk about what they’ve accomplished. It sometimes is as valuable as write something or taking a test. We’ve got to be super supportive of our young people; they’re going through the same social and emotional difficulties we are as adults. Spending time with kids is a valuable thing and kids are a lot more resilient than we give them credit for, she says.