This morning I was writing a draft of this article, working alongside my eight-year-old son. His task for the morning? Identifying parts of a platypus anatomy. Clearly, the once straight lines between student, parent, and teacher—and school and home—are now obscured.
Think of the thousands of students and instructors who are learning and teaching remotely for the first time. Some are parents with their own kids to homeschool. Some have been uprooted from their residence halls with no place to stay but a friend’s couch. Some are trying to keep up with their assignments while juggling jobs in healthcare, or other essential industries.
We’re all struggling right now. But we’re also resilient—a very human characteristic that my son reminded me of as he colored his platypus. Change can be challenging, but it can also invite optimism and opportunity. If we stay calm, and above all else, treat each other with empathy and grace, the future can still be sunny.
One place to start taking back some control from the chaos is by focusing our educational efforts on well-being. How can we enhance the total experience of teaching and learning at home by better caring for our physical, cognitive, and social well-being? Here are a few insights from our education expert, Susan Whitmer.