Happy New Year and welcome back to another exciting term at KIS. I know that this is not quite the start to 2021 we had all hoped for. That being said, as a school, we are determined to make the most of it.
We are aware that remote learning can be stressful on a family, and home-life in general. It can be challenging to navigate the online platforms, motivate your child to engage in their assigned tasks, maintain a regular schedule- and to do all this while you have other responsibilities you need to attend to. We want you to know that we are aware of these challenges and we are here to support you.
Please find below various resources and recommendations for you to keep in mind over the next few weeks. They’re aimed at optimizing student learning, and minimizing parents’ stress.
If you have any follow-up questions, or if you are having trouble applying these strategies, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Resources for parents on optimizing remote learning:
Resources for parents on managing stress and parenting during a pandemic:
Over the last two weeks of Term 1, and the first two weeks of Term 2. Ms. Alex will be hosting an open forum for grade 5 boys and girls, separately. These open forums will be held during afternoon break and last period 1x/week. Students are welcome to come at any point and ask puberty related questions.
As the Grade 5 teachers will teach a whole unit on Transition, including puberty, at the end of the school year; these forums are not set up as formal lessons.They are set up to answer student’s immediate questions about puberty, and to address any misconceptions they might have.
If students ask questions which go beyond the basics of puberty and their changing bodies, I will refer them to their parents. Please note, these forums are optional, and it is not mandatory for students to attend. It is merely an opportunity for students who are ‘ready’ for these conversations to enter a safe and supportive space where they can ask questions and discuss what they know.
Several books on puberty from the library will be made available to students who are interested in inquiring into the topic of puberty more deeply. These include the “What’s Happening to me?” girls edition and boys edition. If you are interested in buying a copy for your child to have at home, you can buy them at the Kinokuniya book store.
This forum was inspired by the many students who expressed an interest in asking questions about puberty and discussing this topic with their peers in a safe and supportive environment. However, if you do not want your child to participate in any of these forums, please inform their homeroom teacher.
If you have any follow up questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Alex at email@example.com
Every year I run Anti-Bullying and Pro-Inclusion workshops in the Elementary School. These lessons are aimed at teaching students the importance of inclusion and bullying prevention methods. Lessons are delivered at an age appropriate level for each grade level.
What do Students Learn?
- To differentiate between bullying and teasing
- To identify the different types of bullying (i.e. online bullying, physical bullying, emotional bullying, exclusion, etc.)
- How to identify bullying when it happens to them, or when it is happening to someone else
- What to do if they are being bullied
- What to do if they witness someone else being bullied
- How to ask for help (from an adult or peer)
- Why do people bully?
- The importance of inclusion and how we all benefit when we make an effort to include all members of our community in our daily interactions
- Social Conflict Resolution Skills
If your child reports he or she is being bullied, we will address the issue immediately. Depending on the depth of the issues, we will also notify you so that you can provide your child with support at home. Likewise, if your child speaks to you about being bullied, please let us know. We will then investigate the issue and collaborate with you and child to resolve the issue.
It is our goal that all students fell welcome and cared for by their peers and KIS community.
If you have any questions or concerns related to this topic, please feel free to contact me any time.
Every year I run a Body Safety Workshop through the Elementary School. The lessons are aim at teaching students how to keep their body safe from harm- in particular- how to keep their private parts private. Each lesson is adjusted to an age appropriate level.
What do students learn?
- Students learn identify the difference between safe touch and unsafe touch
- Student learn to identify which parts of their body are considered private parts (this includes the face as well as any part covered by their underwear and bathing-suit)
- Students learn they can speak to an adult if someone is touching their body in an ‘unsafe’ way
- Students practice using their voice and body to signal unwelcome touch (i.e. “Please stop, I don’t like that.” and putting their hand up to signal resistance).
Please note that these lessons are presented in a way that does not unnecessarily alarm or scare children, while raising awareness for the importance of body safety.
Please also note that if your child raises a concern with myself or their teacher in relation to unsafe touches; the parents will be informed immediately. If your child shared a concern with you at home, you are always welcome to reach out to me directly to discuss the concern.
Keeping your child safe is our number one priority. Thank you for your collaboration and support in having these important conversations with your child. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Please find here some recommendations from the British Red Cross in supporting your child’s return to school.
Even though schools are open again, and the lock down rules in Thailand have relaxed somewhat, it is perfectly normal to continue to feel stress and anxiety during these unique COVID-19 times. Many of you are likely still taking precautions as your plan your family’s social calendar and extra curricular activities. If you feel you anxiety levels rising, please consider trying out some of the following tips:
- Reach out to other parents- find out what strategies have worked for other families and how they are managing. You can share ideas, resources, and most importantly- emotional support.
- Connect with your child’s teacher- they will be able to provide you insight into your child’s adjustment to life back at school. They can also share ideas with you regarding your child’s specific needs during this time. Likewise, they would benefit from your support as well as all of this is also new for them. Our teachers are working hard to incorporating many new skills and strategies into their teaching. It is therefore important that we’re supportive of our teachers, so that they can support our students.
- Create a routine- this was my number 1 recommendation to parents while KIS delivered remote learning. However, it still applies now. Your child may not be able to go out and play as much as they would like. It is therefore important to provide them with structure inside the house. This doesn’t mean you need to set up a minute-by-minute schedule at home- but even providing a clear routine of ‘unstructured play’ for 1 hour before dinner every night can provide children with a sense of stability. This, in turn, will provide you with the quiet you need to attend to your daily tasks and responsibilities.
- Spend some time alone- make sure that you take care of yourself and engage in self-care. You have likely spent more time with you children in the past 6 months than you have since the day they joined preschool. It is okay for you to need time to recover. So book a spa day, grab a good book, or simply have a nap while they’re all out of the house!
Last, but not least- be easy on yourself. Remember that this unique situation comes with many challenges and nobody expect you to handle it ‘perfectly’ (if perfect even exists). Forgive yourself for the moments you lose your temper and acknowledge that you’re doing your best.
If you ever need any additional support- please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Have a great week parents!
Some of our KIS families are currently still abroad and unable to attend school ‘in person’. For these families our staff is working hard to provide online learning opportunities and support. However, we all know that it takes a great deal of parent support and encouragement to help students navigate their online learning at home.
This can be a challenging task for parent as well as their child. You are navigating a new dimension of your relationship, and this can be tricky. Please refer to the list below for sources on how to support your child with their online learning:
If you are experiencing regular difficulties in applying these tips and strategies, please let you child’s homeroom teacher know. You may also reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to having you all back in school as soon as you’re able to return.
It is normal to for students to experience some back-to-school anxieties at the beginning of school year. They might be nervous about meeting their new teachers or the new challenges that lie ahead. However, this year is a little bit different. Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, people’s anxiety levels have increased in general. We have all spent the last 6 months making an effort to social distance and follow local protocols. Returning to a school environment can therefore bring with it a few new anxieties for students, as well as parents and teachers.
Please refer to the links below for a few helpful tips on how to support your child’s mental health throughout the upcoming weeks:
If you notice your child is experiencing heightened levels of anxiety please make sure to contact their homeroom teacher. You may also reach out to me directly at email@example.com
The new school year is upon us! Although it may look a little bit different from our ‘typical’ start to the school year, I hope that everybody has enjoyed their first few days of school.
It is good to have you all back in school- Here is to a wonderful, exciting, safe, and smooth 2020-2021!!