Together we will help our children endure

Column by Thomas Tucker
Posted 4/1/20

As we embark upon online learning with our students and families, I want to thank the Douglas County community. These are uncharted waters for everyone. Like a ship captain without the traditional …

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Together we will help our children endure

Posted

As we embark upon online learning with our students and families, I want to thank the Douglas County community. These are uncharted waters for everyone. Like a ship captain without the traditional nautical instruments, our teachers and parents are finding new ways to keep the ship afloat and steady.

Our teachers and school staff have been nothing short of amazing. Their flexibility and willingness to find innovative ways to keep our students engaged in learning — even from a distance — is inspiring. Our parents are pulling off a balancing act that redefines multi-tasking — taking on the roles of teacher, chef, and supporter — and in some cases, doing it all while still working a full-time job.

This is an incredibly challenging time for all of us. We have all been shaken from our routines, isolated at home away from one another, and forced to quickly come up with a “new normal,” as we wait to see what happens next with COVID-19.

I know that in the coming days and weeks, our teachers will comfort our students, encourage them to learn and remain excited about the future, while likely pushing down their own feelings of fear and anxiety. Our teachers will create lesson plans for online learning and may wonder if their students will grasp the material in this remote setting. Our teachers may hit bumps in the road with technology, wonder if they’re still reaching their students with social-emotional needs, and may even shed more than a few private tears. But, in the end, they will once again make a huge difference in the lives of our 68,000 students. Our teachers will find their groove and make the best of this unsettling situation. Each of them will prove that under the guidance of a great educator, a high-quality education can be achieved, even beyond the walls of a school.

To our parents — you will embrace the new role of educator. You will sit next to your children and support their remote learning. You will answer difficult questions about the future: When can I see my friends and teachers? When will this isolation end? I’m not sick, so why do I have to do this? You may have questions about homework and will connect with your child’s teacher for support and clarity. I hope you look at this unusual time and see opportunity — opportunity to slow down, connect with your children, and enjoy quality family time.

Please continue to visit www.dcsdk12.org/coronavirus for updates. This comprehensive page includes details on free lunches for students 18 years old and younger, resources for talking with children about COVID-19, the Colorado Department of Education announcement that state assessments are paused, and much more.

As we move through these choppy waters together, let’s do so at full speed. I am beyond proud of our teachers, staff, students, and parents. As a #DCSDFamily, smooth sailing is just around the corner.

May your waters be calm and bring us all together again soon.

Thomas S. Tucker, Ph.D., is the superintendent of the Douglas County School District.

Thomas Tucker

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