New Mindset Under the New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the world as we know it. Most of us are trying to proceed with daily life under this “new normal” of social distancing and safety protocols. While we are not certain of when this global crisis would end, we are sure of one thing: we cannot approach this situation with yesterday’s logic. Tackling the problem requires a new perspective. Already businesses and institutions are starting to shift to online platforms with more still to follow. Many schools are driven to adapt online learning to continue education at a safe distance but the reality is most are unprepared to do so due to the huge technical requirements. Which leads us to question: how will we know if our school of choice is up to the challenge?

Though online learning provides us with a stopgap solution to the current problem, it is important to know that online learning is inferior to actual face-to-face learning in a physical classroom setup. Especially for students in the primary and elementary levels, being in a social environment and learning to model behavior while in school is essential to their growth. While there will be plenty of schools offering online learning, there will also be some who will do it better than others. Here are three things to help us assess if a school is well-equipped to make the shift:

    • It has a good and communicable plan of action.

A good school will come up with a clear plan of action in order to address the demand for learning under this new normal. The school will also make sure it is able to communicate the steps it will take clearly to the parents and staff. At this year’s parent orientation, Eastbridge discussed its plans in detail to accommodate online and blended learning for its students this coming school year following the necessary health directives and safety procedures.

    • It has amply prepared its community to adapt to the new system.

A good school offers support to its community. This includes acquiring the best tools to supplement online learning and training their faculty to maximize use of the new tools at hand. It also provides opportunities for parents to cooperate in their children’s education by briefing them as necessary to deal with the requirements of online learning. Last orientation, Eastbridge hosted a Q&A to address parents’ concerns regarding the use of technology in the new system along with suggestions on how we can work together to help each other. Our teachers have also been undergoing multiple trainings and dry runs to ensure their capability not just in teaching online but also in the use of digital tools like Schoology, Zoom, G Suite Education and many more. This coming June we will also be offering a “summer” preparatory course to ease our students into adjusting to online learning.    

    • They continue to strive to maintain the quality of education.

While multiple schools may use the same online tools, they vary in their approach. A good school finds a way to reconcile its primary learning principles with today’s mode of delivery to make sure the education it provides is still of high quality. Eastbridge has always championed the multiple intelligences and we are always coming up with ways to make dynamic, interactive, and fun lessons and activities for everyone even in an online setting. Expect a lot of interesting new activities up ahead as we navigate this new system together.

                With these in mind, we continue to push forward and explore new horizons as we go. Ultimately, the school which knows what to teach and the teachers who know how to teach will make the biggest difference. To put this forth in an analogy, a violin is just a violin. But in the hands of a maestro it will sing while in the hands of a novice it will only squeak. Choose your child's school wisely.