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Pushing P: Playing both roles of Purpose in a Pandemic.

Updated: Jul 2, 2022

Each day we strive to define our new norms. Covid continues to influence the future with an unknown path. But before we tread too far ahead, it's essential to pause and assess the impacts covid has on our children. This week we feature Ms. Melanie Birdsall, a mother, and educator who experienced the effects of covid in her home and classroom.

I have been an educator for over ten years, and I currently teach Special Education at an all-

boys school in the South Bronx, NY. Since the pandemic, there has been a notable trend of low performance and social-emotional triumph within our communities. Many scholars declined in their academics in major subjects, including reading and math, or retained at the same level.

In the presence of covid, I have also monitored the engagement in social skills, there is a significant decrease in kindness, empathy, and communication among peers.

As educators, we have also encountered many trials and tribulations since the pandemic. The field of Education, although rewarding, presents a newfound environment that has factors of stress. We are urged to suppress such emotions to ensure we can give as close to 100% of ourselves to our students as we can. We must continue to push forward so our future [our children] do not fall behind.

How can we equally push forward? As parents, students, and educators, we must work together to rebuild and sustain our community. It starts with social-emotional development at home.

This is a practice that I value in my own home; we must talk to our children. It is essential to show empathy, kindness, and encouragement to influence our children's interactions with others. They observe everything we do and say, so we have to be models that uplift, educate, and teach our children that growth arises from challenges and will teach life lessons.

As educators, we need to go above and beyond for our scholars by supplying them with the tools they need and guiding them on a course where they will achieve academic growth. We also have a responsibility to implement the building of character and acceptance of everyone regardless of their differences. Our classrooms need to foster a safe environment for all of our students through purposeful social-emotional building skills and workshops. I pledge to support my profession by giving my students my all.

Ms. Birdsall is an amazing 2nd grade teacher who spends most of her spare time tutoring students outside of the classroom. Learn more about Ms.B’s Smart Start by checking out the company’s Instagram: Ms.bs_smartstart.

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