We’ve updated our sick day blog for the post-COVID-19 era. If you have any additional suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.
As we get into the thick of fall, it’s a typical time of year for teachers to stock up on school supplies like pens, paper, glue sticks, and… tissues.
Even before the pandemic, colds and the flu have always been an unfortunate side effect of working in schools – according to the CDC in pre-coronavirus times, the average elementary school student in the U.S. will have 12 bouts of the cold or flu each season from October through May. 😷
While much has changed since the virus hit, one thing that remains the same is the fact that it’s not easy for teachers to take a day off – and it’s nearly impossible for substitute teachers to seamlessly continue instruction the way you would.
The last thing you want to do is leave boring, busy work for students. However, we all know emergencies can happen and the worst thing you can do is push yourself and get sicker and/or get everyone else sick too. It’s important, perhaps moreso this year than ever, to have a contingency plan, should you need to take a sick day.
Here are some helpful tips to let you do just that.
Use Kiddom’s Planner to Design Pre-Made Sub Lessons
Planner allows you to create assignments now, which can used when you’re ready. In Planner, add materials, links, or Google drive attachments and directions for your students. When you know you’re feeling under the weather, simply drag the assignment from your Planner to your Timeline and edit it to include any new information or messages you want to include.
With these tools, you can prepare interactive, emergency substitute plans in advance and assign them to your students when you realize you’ll need a day in bed with Netflix and some decongestant.
One of our districts is taking this a step further to keep sub/emergency plans available for substitute teachers or admins to assign on behalf of the teacher. Especially in a quarantine situation, they want their teachers to be able to fully unplug and not have to worry about their students.
Assign Meaningful Resources Using Kiddom’s Library
Kiddom’s Library contains thousands of free teaching resources from Khan Academy, Zearn, CK-12, PBS Kids and more. Resources include videos, games, podcasts, and interactive activities that can keep your students engaged while you’re away.
TEDEd is one great resource for when you can’t be there to teach your students in person. TedED’s videos are curated for a wide variety of subjects, mostly geared towards older students. The videos are engaging and paced for student comprehension, and often include experts in the field to provide a range of perspectives to your students. The best part is that they come with questions and lesson activities, so you can ensure that your students participated while you were away.
Easily Keep Sub Lessons Current and Useful
Kiddom’s library also includes fantastic news resources for you to foster critical media literacy skills. If you haven’t planned ahead, login to Kiddom if you know you’ll need to call out sick and find up-to-date podcasts and articles from Listenwise and Newsela and assign them directly to your class(es). This work will feel relevant to students, and can support a variety of learning styles through audio or text media. With Newsela, you can provide students with articles written at multiple reading levels, too. When you get back, you can hold a class discussion about how your students see these current events impacting their lives!
There are many different ways to find more relevant resources for your students, with the ability to search by skill, topic, grade, subject, source, or content type.
Make it Personal
They don’t always act like it, but our students miss teachers when they’re absent. Copies of worksheets left for subs send the message that work is impersonal and unimportant. Instead, use our Google Drive integration to draft a letter now reminding students of class expectations and norms when you’re away and some reflection questions about their work in your class with a space for them to respond.
This may not connect directly to your content, but it allows your students time to build the social emotional skill of self-awareness, and gives you insight into how they communicate in writing. You can even attach CASEL’s social emotional learning competencies to the assignment to give students direct feedback on their social emotional development.
Easily share Google Drive attachments and align them with standards/skills using Kiddom, or record a quick video without ever leaving the platform by clicking the blue video icon. If you’re not feeling ready for the camera (sick days will do that to you!), leave an audio message for students so that they can still hear your voice – or assign an audio assignment to them so you can still hear their voices.
We hope you don’t get sick, but if you do, you shouldn’t feel bad about taking the time to get better. Use Kiddom to keep the learning going from the comfort of your couch. Take care!
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For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in a centralized hub. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.
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