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Creating Connections in a Time of Social Distancing

By Christina Bruno| March 26, 2020
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To our Empatico community:

Like you, we are closely monitoring the latest news about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and thinking about all the educators, administrators, and parents in our community who are navigating not only personal and public health concerns but also the uncertainty of school closures and the shift to remote learning. 

Now, more than ever, we recognize the need to come together as a community, and to support one another as we venture into uncharted territories and adapt to the realities of remote learning. We hope the Empatico community can serve as a space to share ideas and resources, connect with one another, and foster ongoing conversations as we continue to adjust in the coming weeks. As we manage these increasingly difficult and isolating times, we encourage you to reach out to your friends, family, and fellow teachers to share your experience, lend support, or even simply check-in and say hi.

The team at Empatico is also working on a few new resources we hope will be helpful to you in the coming months. First, we are condensing some of our Empatico Skills exercises into bite-sized activities that can be completed at home – either independently by students or working together with a caregiver. We will also be offering a limited series of virtual meetups with Empatico educators on a range of topics, including how you can incorporate social and emotional learning at home. Please stay tuned for further announcements about these new resources!

In the meantime, if your normal school operations have been affected, here are some ways Empatico can help you stay connected:

  • Our support team is available 24/7, so please do not hesitate to reach out to support@empatico.org with any questions or concerns, or if you’re looking for resources and ideas to facilitate remote teaching!
  • Join our Empatico Educators group on Facebook to stay connected to other educators from around the world.
  • Stay up to date with our educator community on social media by following our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • If your class will be unavailable for an extended period of time, let your partner know. You can also add the dates you will be away by editing your My Teacher Profile settings. 
  • In any case, we encourage you to connect with your partner educator via live video to offer one another support and share ideas for remote teaching and learning. We’ll get through this together! 

Finally, no matter your school’s current situation, as the impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold, we are committed to supporting everyone in our community. We know each person and family’s situation is unique, and what may be helpful is defined differently for everyone. And we understand that many of you are already going above and beyond to access resources and create innovative learning opportunities for your students. But if you find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed as the world continues to take precautions, we recommend the following resources that may help you lead with compassion and kindness during these trying times.

Greater Good Science Center: How to Keep the Greater Good in Mind During the Coronavirus Outbreak

UNICEF: How teachers can talk to children about coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

TNTP Blog: Resources for Learning at Home When Schools Close

NNSTOY:  COVID-19 Resource List

WISE + Qatar Foundation: EEA Provides Home Learning Support for Parents and Guardians

ASCD: How to not overwhelm your school with online initiatives

For the most recent info on the pandemic, please visit the CDC’s website or the WHO’s latest updates.

We hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and well. Thank you, as always, for being a valued part of the Empatico community.

– The Empatico Team