It’s been a challenging fall semester for educators, so KET is offering a special online communal viewing event about teaching in these unprecedented times. Educators are invited to watch and discuss A Trusted Space, a new film on mitigating the effects of grief and trauma affecting students and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The KET screening will be held online at 7 pm ET, Tuesday, December 15. Simply follow this link to join in.
Kentucky educators attending the virtual screening include PBS Digital Innovator All-Star Ashley Judd, fourth-grade reading teacher at Tyner Elementary; PBS Digital Innovator All-Star and KET Education All-Star Dee Dee Webb, technology integration specialist with Grayson County schools; and KET Education All-Stars Sam Northern, library media specialist at Simpson Elementary, and Janet Lanham, media services resource librarian with Jefferson County schools.
The 43-minute film features teachers, parents, students, and experts in trauma-informed education. The education experts in the film encourage teachers to take care of themselves first so that they can create a trusted classroom space where everyone can feel safe.
Kentucky educators find distance learning presents challenges along with opportunities. Northern, who is president of the Kentucky Association of School Librarians, takes a positive outlook on the hybrid learning model, which combines in-person teaching with online learning.
“There are opportunities for students to build knowledge and solve problems through online research and digital productivity tools,” said Northern. “Students use collaboration tools to share new ideas and reflect on different perspectives.”
Judd said her biggest challenge is getting “buy in” to the virtual school concept, and she appreciates the families that have a positive attitude. Their cooperation is key to creating a good experience for students, she said.
“We don’t expect you to teach your child, we don’t expect you to provide them with lessons, we just simply need you to hold your child accountable,” Judd said. “If we can get their best effort and presence, then everything else we can build and grow.”
The film emphasizes that secure relationships with a trusted adult in the classroom can mitigate the stress students feel during these difficult times. Despite the challenges, Northern says students continue to grow and learn.
“I am amazed by my students and their adaptability,” said Northern. “We are doing more than ‘getting through this.’ We are paving the way and learning something new at every step.”
Judd also is optimistic about the progress students can make in the virtual setting. “In a time where we continually hear that ‘our children are falling behind’ sitting behind a computer screen, I have witnessed some struggling students show incredible growth,” she said. A Trusted Space is produced by All It Takes, a nonprofit group that supplies free social and emotional curriculum materials. The film is also available on PBS LearningMedia, along with a 64-page facilitator guide.