Connecting with families during COVID-19 is tricky at best. There are no daily interactions and no face-to-face contact unless I meet with a family over Google Meet. Families and caregivers do not come into the building or the classroom, so they have very little information about what happens each day.
To help families understand what their children are learning, I make a video each week. Honestly, I began with a video so folks could put a face with my name. But then, I realized the power of two-minute videos as a communication tool. Each week, I make a video explaining some aspect of instruction. Some of these topics include how to support your child with spelling, tips for helping when a child reads an unfamiliar word, how first graders learn to revise, and how to hear their children’s mid-year self-reflections.
There is nothing fancy about these videos – no makeup, no special outfit, and no perfect setting. I prop my phone up on some books and begin. Sometimes I videotape in the classroom and show tools students use as they work. But other times, I videotape at home so families can see what I look like without a mask.
The funny thing about these videos is that I would never have created them if it wasn’t for COVID-19. I would have felt self-conscience about putting myself on camera. You know, I don’t worry about that anymore. Instead, I think of these videotapes as just another communication tool. The videos only take me a few minutes to create, and the feedback from families has been positive. Perhaps in the coming months, I will include the children’s voices. But for right now, I include these videos in my list of silver linings from living through a pandemic