F2F Class Instruction? Here’s why that’s not going to work
Ever since the warmer days of spring, about five kids in my neighborhood from three houses – two families who next door and one backyard neighbor – have hung thick as theives. In the big expanse of unfenced yards that stretch behind their three houses, these kids have created a play bubble of their own. Their parents try their best to watch them and make sure they do not touch or get too close (I’ve lost count of hearing how many times they’ve been instructed SIX FEET APART). By cordoning off their play circle to basically just each other, and without the formalized structure of daycamps, the children play the kind of free, unstructured play that’s fueled by imagination, the kind of play I remember from my 1970’s childhood.
There are wars and swordfights. There is trampoline jumping and tree swinging, decorating refigerator boxes that are really time machines to go back to Ancient Rome. There is bike riding in circles in a semi circular driveway and romps through the sprinkler. There are games with on-the-spot made up rules and players that break these rules and big brothers and sisters reminding the littler sisters that YOU have broken a rule.
I know this all, because all games are played at full volume, high summer outside noise! From someone who is too old to have kids that young anymore, it is a joyful, symphonic noise.
I saw the gang this morning across the street and decided to go over to say hi.
I wore my mask.
They had no masks.
“Hello, Miss Stacy, how are you?” Said “G””
I’m great, G, but can you back up a little bit?
“Miss Stacy, is that really tall sunflower in your garden REAL?”
Yes it is, J, but you really need to back up, remember we need to keep six feet apart?
“Miss Stacy, where is your dog, can he come out now?”
“No, my dog is not home now. He’s in the hospital getting fixed… and J, PLEASE back up again, you are getting too CLOSE!'”
I said my good-byes before heading to my car, inviting them that they can take a closer look at my sunflower in my garden, when I was not there.
And of course these kids, these little kids going into Grades 1, 3 and 4, want to get as close into your face as possible, excited to tell you stories about what’s going on, excited to ask you stuff.
This is how it’s supposed to be.
They. Are. KIDS!
That was my encounter with the small-fry kind. Me and three little kids. For 10 minutes. And I must have asked them to please back up and keep their distance about five times.
So, tell me.
An elementary school class filled with 25, 30 excited boisterous kids. And one teacher.
Tell me how, in the age of Coronavirus, tell me how that’s going to fly.