We have now been teaching and learning online a couple of weeks short of a year. We have learned, adapted and our practices have improved a lot. We are better teachers and students than when we started out online a year ago.
We are well equipped to deal with what we are facing at the moment but this week has been a particularly difficult week for all of us. We have got through it one day at a time.
We have long term, yearly, quarterly, monthly, and weekly plans but our planning and preparation has now taken more of a day by day focus. It will therefore need to be very fluid as we plan for our students’ safety and wellbeing, connectedness, and learning. On Sunday, we will communicate next week’s Transitional Day schedule with you via email.
On behalf of all of our Elementary School team, we would like to thank you for your support and understanding as we strive to respect and meet your children’s and our community’s needs.
COUNSELOR’S CORNER with Ms. Patty:
Patience & The Unknown
Patience is the capacity to remain calm and tolerate problems or suffering without becoming overwhelmed or anxious. It sounds simple enough but how do we remain patient when so many things are unknown? I am often asked by students and parents questions that seek a fortune teller’s insight. Unfortunately, I have not been granted the gift of seeing the future. I have had to grow comfortable with the fact that I can’t always provide the answers others are needing. Here are a few things I have learned:
It’s okay to say I don’t know. In times of uncertainty, it’s important to be honest. If I can’t provide an honest answer it’s best to admit it.
Talking about uncertainty doesn’t make it worse. The situation is stressful and therefore, it is stressful to talk about but my addressing the issues don’t make it worse. As a parent, talking with my child about uncertainty doesn’t increase their worry but it allows them an outlet to share and clarify.
Focus on safety. When personal or emotional safety is a concern, identify the steps and protocols in place to ensure safety. If appropriate, review or create a family safety plan. This can help increase a sense of control and a sense of security.
Know the audience. Don’t overwhelm children with unnecessary information. Adults can handle more details but only if they are ready to hear it. Provide honest, brief explanations about what is being done and the steps taken to form a resolution.
Finally, focus on patience. At times the only honest answer I have is “we’ll see.” At these times, patience is essential. Remember that patience can be cultivated and tolerance of the unknown can be developed. Be mindful of the moment, acknowledge areas for which you do have control and find gratitude in the small things.
Ms. Patty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is available to support families and students of ISY.
INTERNET PROBLEMS & OFFLINE LEARNING
We have done some planning for the unlikely event that there is a country wide permanent loss of access to Google tools. In that event everyone should log in to PowerSchool and look for the menu item on the left side of the screen called ‘Office 365 Credentials’. Here you will see a single user name and password for both email and for documents. The email has already been set up such that all school email from now on is being forwarded to the alternative email platform. The documents platform is the place where teachers would upload documents for students. There is no need to log in to Office 365 before losing access to Google. It is advisable, however, to login to PowerSchool just to make sure you know your login and password. If anyone needs help with logging in you can review this simple guide to resetting your password and if that doesn’t help you can contact the PowerSchool Help team at email@example.com.
Although we have yet to lose complete access to the internet during the school day, we do have a plan for this happening. In that event, students not involved in a transition day, will work from home on pre-arranged work that they have downloaded already. Elementary School teachers have sent a download to parents today and Secondary School parents and students will be getting their downloads on Monday. Secondary students and Upper Elementary students will go through the download process with their teachers in class. It is important that this work is downloaded as soon as it is received so no use of the internet will be required to access the instructions. These downloads will be updated from time to time in line with the progress of students through their various studies.
Offline Learning Activities in the Elementary School:
The grade level summaries you receive every Friday now have a PDF document attached. This document will be a summary of what has happened in class that week plus a selection of Offline Learning Activities. Students are to do these activities only if we lose internet access and classes cannot proceed online. These activities are connected to what we are doing in class but they are only to be done on days that we cannot meet as a class. When classes resume, students will share and reflect on their work. Please download the PDF Summary & Offline Learning Document when you receive the email on Friday. In this way these Offline Learning Activities will be immediately available to students if we lose internet access in the following week.
Below is a video that outlines how to download a PDF document:
Next Friday, we have Parent Teacher Conferences. You will be able to make online meeting appointments to chat with your child(ren)’s teachers
This week we celebrated Ms. Delphine’s 40+ year connection with ISY. You will know Ms. Delphine from the Elementary School office where she has served our community for 26 years.
The final quarter of any school year is important. This is often the quarter that students make the deepest connections and most progress.
Further to Dr. Hedger’s Tuesday update on the majority of our faculty departing Yangon the weekend before Thingyan, we would like to update you on how you can expect school to operate after Thingyan.
Our children are wonderful models of how effective a beginner’s mindset can be when nothing is certain and every challenge seems new.
Sometimes it is difficult to look on the bright side. But research shows that in difficult times, it is important for our mental health to allow ourselves to acknowledge that times are difficult and to feel rather than suppress negative emotions.
The International School Yangon
20 Shwe Taungyar Street
+95 1 512 793 /94 /95