By Elaine Adams
The virtual world and learning situation that has evolved as a result of the pandemic puts parents in a more engaged role in their child’s education. The younger the child, the greater the impact of the parent or caregiver’s engagement.
Well beyond “How was school today? What did you learn?”, parents have a more vital function and view of the formal teaching and learning process for their individual child.
An opportunity that can arise out of this situation is for parents to be able to identify the “learning style or styles” of their child.
Learning styles speaks to the understanding that everyone learns differently. By recognizing and understanding their child’s learning styles, parents along with the instructor can work together on strategies and techniques to improve the speed and quality of mastery of a skill or content. Once mastery of a skill or content is reached, the child can move on to the next level of learning and understanding.
Success Breeds Success
Real chances to combine the creativity of the parent and the instructor exist. Add to that the environmental assets of the home setting along and the parents’ genuine knowledge of their child’s previous understandings. This makes for authentic chances for students to grasp and master new learning and content. Because parents are with their child one on one so many more hours of the day than formal educators, the probability for reinforcing through teachable moments is well beyond the classroom time. An added bonus is the parent’s opportunity to see the learning objective of a single virtual lesson and again, make reference to it throughout the day or week.
Teachers are well informed that each child has different learning styles that work best for him or her. By observing the learning style, parents are able to see not only that their child is learning more, but are able to determine how their child learns best. It is a win-win for the child as the parent collaborates with the teacher for strategies so their child comprehends better, makes connections, is able to apply the skill in differing settings and situations. This breeds the confidence needed for moving on to the next new skill.
Five Dominant Learning Styles
- Auditory–Hearing the information needed
- Visual–Taking in information through visual cues
- Read-Write–Putting information down on paper
- Kinesthetic–Hands-on understanding, most when they do it themselves
- Multimodal–Take on the traits of the other four, depending on the situation
As we all navigate “doing things differently” in this new environment, continue to search for the good and make more than the most of it. Stay healthy and have fun as your child’s first and most lifelong teacher and advocate.
Ted Lampkin: Rising to Meet the Challenge
Charles Drew Health Center
Growing up down the street from Charles Drew Health Center, Inc., it was no question for Ted Lampkin to give back to the community that helped raise him.
“I’m passionate about public health because I am a product of public health services. Coming up, my family and I used the services at Charles Drew.”
As the Associate Director of Behavioral Health Services, Ted has been on the front-line teaching and training team members in new approaches to behavioral health. It’s no surprise that when COVID-19 struck, Ted was front and center.
“My role was to help transition the Behavioral Health department from doing face-to-face therapy to telehealth therapy.”
While COVID-19 began to escalate, increasing evidence highlighted racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
“We made it easy for the patients, providing traditional face-to-face, telehealth, and when needed telephonic sessions. A lot of patients had anxiety about COVID-19 and being in the middle of a pandemic, in addition to their other stressers.”
“The benefit of telehealth is we can continue to provide quality service during a pandemic. You take out the barriers to care with telehealth.”
Brenda Avant: Providing Quality Healthcare in the Midst of COVID-19
Charles Drew Health Center
As a North Omaha native, Family Nurse Practitioner, Brenda Avant, understands educating her patients about their healthcare choices is a foundational principle to accessing safe and quality healthcare.
When the pandemic shut down Omaha metro schools, Brenda and the team members at Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. School-based Health Centers had to switch gears. While still providing in-person care, the SBHC Medical providers began utilizing telehealth to remain in contact with their patients.
“The telehealth program at Charles Drew really grew at that time. As Medical providers, we were able to continue serving our student patients through telehealth. The parents really enjoyed it because they felt even through a pandemic their child’s provider is still in tune with their needs.”
As the pandemic surged, the healthcare inequalities within the American health system began to come to the foreground. “It made me proud to see that Charles Drew was a front runner in COVID-19. The community was looking to us to help guide them through.”
“Charles Drew made it very easy for the population we serve to continue receiving care. We may be small, but we are mighty.”
Larry Duncan: Resiliency in the Face of a Crisis
Charles Drew Health Center
Hailing from the south side of Chicago, Larry Duncan, Director of Behavioral Health Services at Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. has always had a passion for helping others. “My passion, at first, started off with a drug and alcohol emphasis based on my own experiences and knowledge. As I grew and received more education, mental health became the next umbrella. It rests with my understanding that there are unique issues that affect black and brown people, and people who are marginalized.”
Within the first year serving at Charles Drew, Larry faced his biggest challenge yet, leading a team while in the mists of coronavirus. “The number one thing we did quickly was become active.” As COVID-19 began to highlight the care gaps within marginalized communities, the Behavioral Health team at Charles Drew looked to bridge those gaps within the community.
“For our population it was a dual threat. On one side of the coin, the crisis becomes an additional stress to a population of people who already live with stress. On the flip side of the coin, the lack of community and social interaction increased depression, anxiety, and a sense of hopelessness.”
The message was simple, but practical: Practice the Five Cs–Connection, Commitment, Communion, Contain, and Continue.
Looking back, one of the greatest strengths of Charles Drew, in Larry’s eyes, was the ability to remain active. While most were waiting, frozen in their activity, Charles Drew advanced forward.
“We got better and better at it. We were doing testing on the front line when testing was just starting. As masks began to be required, we were handing them out to the community members in need. Whatever needed to be done in the face of this virus, we did it.”