School closings will have several effects. The big positive: limiting the spread of coronavirus. The big negatives: children will not be leaning material that they will be expected to know – at some point – and that will create a foundational challenge. Boredom, lack of purposefulness, increased social media/video games/texting drama are additional negatives.
I’ll address the first issue. Over time, I have worked with hundreds of students who had some disruption in their learning. The most common was the “teacher who disappeared” (illness/maternity leave/personal issues) and was replaced by a babysitting substitute teacher or the “teacher who didn’t teach” (incompetence/burn out/personal issues). The problem would show up when I taught SATs, which measures among other things what students are supposed to have mastered. I would be working with an otherwise well-educated student and then the “gap” or gaps would appear.
We would soon discover that their 9th-grade teacher’s absence hindered the student’s algebra knowledge. Or their grammar foundations were sketchy because their 8th grade English teacher had them watch movies or read (pretend to read) in class.
The same is about to happen to Connecticut students as they stay home for the next 2 (probably 4, maybe 8) weeks.
While we are super mindful of social distancing, we will be tutoring students both at our offices and virtually.