The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped the lives of school-aged children across the country. Some are keeping a record of what it was like to live through it.
In the early days of school shutdowns, a number of teachers asked their students to start daily journals—writing down the specifics of their days at home and their feelings about this new reality.
Education Week Video asked two groups of students who had been given this assignment—a 5th grade class in Springboro, Ohio, and a 7th grade class in Summerville, S.C.—to record themselves reading some of their entries.
The journals highlight the strangeness of the past few months.
Life in quarantine isn’t all bad: Students write about getting to sleep in, or rollerblading around the neighborhood on beautiful sunny days. But there are also missed milestones and celebrations, and extra precautions taken as family members have to continue working.
“I really miss being in school. Which is weird to hear a kid say, who’s in school,” Kaylie Tonzola, a 7th grader in Summerville, S.C., wrote in one entry.
Emily Richley, the 5th grade teacher in Ohio, started the project in her class as a way to document a historic moment. But it’s turned into a way for students to process their emotions, too.
“I think that keeping this community and family feeling of a classroom is important, because they are scared,” Richley told Education Week last month.
The journals are also a way to stay connected to students, and make sure they’re safe and healthy, said Pren Woods, the 7th grade teacher in South Carolina.
“When a kid says, ‘My mom doesn’t have a job and there are four of us, and she’s alone and I’m worried.’ That’s somebody I want to pick up the phone and call, and somebody’s mom I want to email,” he said.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.