This has been a strange and highly unusual last couple of weeks. The coronavirus, which supposedly began in China, comes from a family of viruses that mostly affect animals. However, it made the leap to affecting humans as well and has now infected, according to recent numbers presented in the media, close to 300,000 people worldwide.
Of course, as is often done in today’s society, the media has jumped on this story with many outlets acting like it is the second coming of the plague that killed 50 million people in Europe back in the 14th century. This is not to say it isn’t deadly as the mortality rate is somewhere between 0.7 and 3.4 percent depending on the sources you are led to believe.
Because of the coronavirus and all the hype surrounding it, people are being quarantined, businesses are closing, the stock market is crashing, people are staying home from work, and there seems to be those who think toilet paper is worth its weight in gold.
How Is It Affecting Education?
So far, about half of the states are shutting down schools as we all prepare for the worst. Schools, elementary through college, are taking at least a two-week sabbatical and more or less shutting down as kids are told to stay home with their parents and see how this thing rides out. Seeing as we are already about a week into this unplanned vacation, I can see this being extended another couple weeks here very shortly. Perhaps with the warm weather, the virus will stop spreading so much just like the flu and colds. If that is the case, students may just be able to go back to school in May?
As it has been declared an “Act of God” by many states like Illinois, this means that schools do not have to make up the days missed like they do with most snow days. However, numerous schools are asking their staff to still be productive and conduct classes either online with the students or by providing the students with packets to complete from home.
We Have Always Talked About Entering into More 21st-Century Learning
There have been administrators and educators preaching that we could be doing more in education by offering accelerated 21st-century learning. Instead of being tied down to a certain classroom or teacher, students could be working straight from home with educators all over the globe through the miracle of email, video conferencing, and chat boards. The coronavirus has sort of forced this all upon us before everyone was ready.
There are teachers scrambling at the moment at trying to figure out how to complete eLearning with children of all ages. I could see how fifth-grade students and up could handle communicating and following directions solely online with a teacher. However, the younger students, especially preschool and kindergarten, may present a problem and will certainly need assistance from their parents.
High School and College Seniors
I have former students that are seniors in high school and seniors in college at the moment. They are in an awkward predicament where they might have ended their senior year already and just don’t realize it yet. The last three months are always a fun time for graduating students when they know they are not going to be coming back the next year. Instead, there is a good possibility that they are going to be done three months early and will be just, hopefully, coming out of quarantine by then.
Teachers Are Still Getting Paid at the Moment in Illinois
While many people in different professions are sitting at home and not getting paid at the moment because of the coronavirus quarantine, Governor J.B. Pritzker said teachers in Illinois are going to continue being paid until the end of March as if everything is still running normally. However, if the quarantine is prolonged, who knows how things will continue to go?
Don’t Let Your Children Just Binge-Watch the Time Away
Rather than letting this time go to waste for your children at home, iAchieve offers tutoring for students of all ages. We can provide tutors for virtually any subject area as well. While our tutors may not be able to meet with the children in person at the moment because of the quarantine, something can certainly be worked out through video conferencing and email.
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