These are unprecedented times–to say the least—with so many sudden questions: How are we going to get food? Can we still go outside to get fresh air? Am I doomed if I don’t wear a facemask? How long is this going to last? Another question I asked is– what’s going to happen to my children? As a preschool teacher, I not only feared for my own well-being, but also for the well-being of my children and their families.
Now that we are about a month into this quarantine, I am beginning to see how our culture at Georgetown Hill is shining through even the darkest days.
At Georgetown Hill, we strive to make our children feel loved, accepted, and valued. Instead of closing our doors and waiting out the COVID-19 storm, we chose to create a virtual preschool from the ground up in a matter of two days in order for our children to see their teachers, see their friends, and to know that we still care and are still here! Because this is all trial and error, takes ample time to implement, and can be much harder than an in-person program, how do we know our children are getting what they need? We know this because of the faith we have in our program and because of the teachers who show up online every day to sing, laugh, share, and teach, even as they manage their own daily challenges and needs.
During this time, it’s easy to stress about academics and an absence of routine, but what if all this is allowing our children to become more advanced? What if they are learning more than we could ever offer in a classroom setting? I have noticed our children becoming more creative, more adventurous, and more independent by the day. We are hoping as teachers they are starting to truly value the idea of human and family connection. We are hoping that they are learning the ins and outs of cooking, are able to learn a new skill, and are able to watch the flowers bloom in real time. We are hoping that they are starting to appreciate the simple things like wearing pajamas all day or not having to rush to that swim lesson or piano practice. We are hoping that those who are quiet and reserved can gain more confidence to find their voice on Zoom calls and at the same time we are hoping that our kids are able to engage in activities that aren’t on an iPad or computer screen.
Despite everything going on outside, our children and families are joining us every day to dance and play—and we are so grateful for that. We are truly working together to nurture our children—and each other– and that is what Georgetown Hill is all about.