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After School Tea Time – Week of 11/9/2021

Welcome back to After School Tea Time! Take a look at what we’re spilling this week! We have questions from all over Connecticut, so grab your tea cups and get comfortable. This is the tea you don’t want to miss!

Question from Fairfield County – Many of the children in our program are struggling with understanding the concepts that they are being taught. Many of them are experiencing frustration because they find the material confusing. This makes our lessons and activities hard to get through. How can we begin to help with learning loss?

Answer: Hey Fairfield, your question is a very important topic of conversation at the moment so thank you for asking this. The effects of learning loss are being experienced in many programs and providers are reporting the same issues and frustrations. The important thing to remember is that while there is a year of learning that needs to be made up for, there are a lot of emotional factors that need to be addressed with students before any work can be done. Have you tried checking in with them and seeing how they are feeling before you start a lesson or activity? The mood of a child can effect their ability to process information that is being taught to them. If they’re not doing okay emotionally, they won’t be able to focus on tasks or activities. Set aside some time in your program to check in with your students to see how they are feeling that day. If you notice the entire group isn’t feeling their best, try to find a way to teach the lesson or do the activity in a different way that wouldn’t be too overwhelming for them. You can check out this resource on how to support student learning and well-being as well as skills to support staff well-being. We hope that this can help!

Question from Hartford County – There is a child in our program who does not like to participate in activities that require the children to be in groups. This child prefers to be alone and is more comfortable doing activities that are done individually. When we are having playtime, this child also likes to play alone. The other children have even tried to invite the child to participate with them, but the child always declines. How can we talk to the child about this without making them feel like they are doing something wrong?

Answer: Hey Hartford, thank you for your question. I know this situation may seem complex, but there are ways that you will be able to approach this. This child may prefer to be alone for many different reasons, but it is important that you understand why. I would start by asking them why they prefer to be alone to get their perspective. I would ask in a way that will make them feel like you genuinely want to understand why and not in a way that seems like you are trying to convince them to participate with other children. If you find that you weren’t able to understand their perspective after speaking with them, the next step should be to contact their parent/guardian and explain the situation. Maybe they will be able to offer some insight as to why this is happening. If the conversation with the parent/guardian is not able to provide any further information to help with the situation, I would suggest looking into ways to encourage activity participation. You want to ease the child into being comfortable with participating, so maybe the activities or lessons you plan only require small amounts of group work and the rest is individual. In this article there are methods that you can use to practice mindfulness in the classroom. Remember that it is important to be patient especially when it involves a child’s comfort level.

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