Its important for teachers to be creative for their students during the Corona-virus pandemic. Wearing a mask all day has been a challenge. My thoughts about wearing them are that doctors and nurses wear them because it keeps them and their patients safe. If they can do this, so can I as a teacher. Do I like wearing a mask? No, not at all. But in fact because I am a music teacher I not only wear a cloth mask, but also a face shield. It makes me feel trapped. It’s hard to breath and talk and sing. I do so hoping that this has helped me stay healthy and safe so I can continue doing what I love, which is teaching children. I think its working.
I am among the more fortunate ones during this Covid crisis, in that the school where I work has been completely operational since September with only a few interruptions. I think we are having success because we can keep our classes small, to about ten students per classroom. We keep our classes separated for the most part all day. We play outside whenever possible. Our students do not wear masks, however our all teachers do. We also have spray sanitizers we use every day.
In my music room I have a box of instruments for each class so no one touches another classes items. Then they are sprayed at the end of each day so another class can use. I prepare music that some can use tambourines and drums or ukuleles, maracas and bells.
When it comes to teaching music to children you have to be highly creative to hold their interest. I utilize puppets that tell stories to introduce new songs. I think the children enjoy looking at colorful paintings while they are learning the words and meanings to other music. Of course they always like marching with flags while singing our patriotic numbers or wearing butterfly wings while dancing.
When the pandemic first happened, all school shut down. March 12 is a day I will always remember. I was at the Children’s library in Little Rock and my publisher Erin Wood and I were there going over what was going to be a big author and book release party to happen in April. I was so excited. I had written several books before, but this one was special because I now had a publisher and this book showed off my art and the editing was wonderful. But as you know the world shut down. The big readings at libraries and bookstores would have to be put all hold.
We had to once again be creative. So we turned to multimedia. I starting reading my story to libraries online through Zoom, Facetime and Youtube. I created my own Youtube channel and started singing and reading lots of my stories. You can find me at Dabohana on Youtube. All summer long along with my music partner Rod Ragsdale we stay home in our little apt and made lots of videos for children on Youtube. We used themed shower curtains as backdrops and made out own little video production studio. Check out the fun. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDluLLAyEJVzyrsCelEjvDw
Rod and I had a blast. We hope you will go to our Dabohana Youtube and subscribe. Share and little little ones watch our fun music videos.
Stay safe. Be creative. Love from our little place to yours. -Rod and Carol