Caitlin McNulty: During the actual last day, it was like any other day.
Caitlin McNulty: We dismissed our kids without knowing that we weren't going to have school.
Caitlin McNulty: And then it was decided that was the safest thing to do.
Caitlin McNulty: While it was scary and sad, I also was thinking, OK, well, this isn't forever.
Caitlin McNulty: We'll be back to see our kids again and keep going with the year.
Caitlin McNulty: A couple districts really planned on doing the online learning, and that worked for their community.
Caitlin McNulty: But that wasn't something that was going to be very easy to implement with the community that we work with.
Caitlin McNulty: Everyone was kind of scrambling to get the basic needs of students met.
(Soft upbeat music)
Caitlin McNulty: I have 20 kids in my classroom, and my first thoughts were,
Caitlin McNulty: OK, how is this gonna impact the kids that I know rely on that hot meal at school everyday.
Caitlin McNulty: And how is that going to impact the kids who I know don't have internet at home?
Caitlin McNulty: And how is that gonna impact the kids who maybe feel really isolated when they're at home and rely on school for that social interaction.
Caitlin McNulty: And then it's been an additional challenge getting technology set up,
Caitlin McNulty: talking someone through how to set up our Canvas account or our Zoom account.
Caitlin McNulty: Like I spent three hours one day helping one of my families who speaks Amharic set up all of the resources.
Caitlin McNulty: But I also feel really grateful that I have a great group of people at my school,
Caitlin McNulty: and we're all collaborating to create online lessons.
Teacher on computer screen: A couple of ones where they are wrong I explained this in the activity. So for that one, they have to cross it off.
Caitlin McNulty: I think it's great and I think it is a good third lesson for next week.
Teacher on computer screen: For this lesson today you will need lined paper or regular paper.
(In foreign language)
(In foreign language)
PE teacher: Go ahead and give that a try.
Caitlin McNulty: Normally, you would never get emails at 9 p.m. from colleagues you know or at like 1 a.m. from colleagues.
Caitlin McNulty: It feels like for me and for a lot of people that like work-life separation looks different now.
Caitlin McNulty: Good morning, Room 11 families and students. I am so excited to be with you today.
Caitlin McNulty: So one thing that has happened since we started working from home.
Caitlin McNulty: We no longer have like a table that we can eat at, like our couch is really hard to get to.
Caitlin McNulty: But we're reminding ourselves that it's not forever. It's a temporary, although longer than anticipated, kind of change of pace.
Caitlin McNulty: We're trying to make everything really flexible because we understand that every family is really struggling with different schedules, with different needs, right now.
(Talking to someone on computer)
Caitlin McNulty: You can just go all the way up to edit and then copy.
Caitlin McNulty: I'll talk to mom and I'll talk to, you know, older brother, and I'll talk to older sister and so it's kind of like it's been a team effort.
(On computer screen showing children's book)
Caitlin McNulty: I have chosen a really special book for today's lesson and that is because so many students have been telling me,
Caitlin McNulty: "You know, Miss McNulty, I've been feeling a little bit worried lately."
Caitlin McNulty: Kids are just experiencing really high levels of stress.
Caitlin McNulty: I had kids say, “I am worried that my grandparents are going to get sick and die.”
Caitlin McNulty: Or “I am worried because my mom is coughing,” or “I'm worried that when I come back to school not all my friends will be there.”
(Talking on computer screen)
Caitlin McNulty: I wanted to share, too, that I have also been feeling a little bit worried and a little bit anxious. And this is OK.
Caitlin McNulty: And then I had the kids create a list of ways that they deal with worry and it was really sweet.
Caitlin McNulty: You know, we had everything from "You should definitely cuddle with your mom, because that really helps me feel better when I'm worried,"
Caitlin McNulty: to "You should definitely have a dance party."
Caitlin McNulty: I'm really hoping that we're able to go back to school in fall.
Caitlin McNulty: I guess my biggest fear is that kids who already had higher needs now are possibly going to fall farther behind.
Caitlin McNulty: And so my biggest job now is to figure out how to close those gaps with the resources that we have.