When you’re a shy, awkward person like myself, high school activities that require teamwork and public anything speaking are not that fun. As an introvert, these awkward high school moments make the whole back-to-school phase dreadful.
One thing you don’t look forward to is participating in first day ice-breakers.
CREDIT: AMERICAN IDOL / FOX
For most, hearing “Okay class, we’re going to go around the room…” means you get to make new friends or to talk to that cute guy in class.
But nothing makes you panic more than when the teacher calls on you to participate – when you’re not even raising your hand.
CREDIT: AMERICAN IDOL / FOX
There were clearly other students raising their hands, but nooooo, she just has to pick on you.
To make matters worse, you’re assigned to a group project with people who are complete strangers to you.
CREDIT: CAMILA MENDES / GIPHY
Now you have to spend your precious time meeting with these people outside of school hours.
Then you have to present in front of the entire class. And it’s so awkward for you. Awkward AF.
Your palms are sweating, you hear your heart racing, you don’t know who to look at or what to do with your hands and that ‘just pretend everyone is naked’ thing, does not work.
But you also have P.E. class, which means more teamwork. ?
People say marathons are exhausting. Those people do not have kids. Because at least in a marathon there’s a finish line, and it’s over. In parenthood, there is no finish line. Every morning I find myself running full speed and huffing and puffing trying to get them to class on time.
Throughout my years of experience as a parent, I’ve learned some helpful hacks to save time during morning routines so I can better spend more time enjoying the company of my chiquitos. All you need is just a few handy accessories and thankfully they’re available at your already favorite Back to School shop, Target.
Just one speedy trip to Target or a few quick clicks on the app and you’ll have these multi-use products in your home ready to spring yourself and your kids into the new semester.
1. Put the kids in the mood to jump out of bed — with música.
Young or old, no one really likes waking up early. My mom used to open the blinds and pull the covers off of me to get me to wake up, but that never made getting up any fun. There’s something that universally puts everyone in a good mood — and that’s music. I started using music as an alarm clock and it has been life-changing. All I do is play the kids’ favorite music from my phone and into the JBL Bluetooth speaker that I purchased from Target, and it’ll slowly start waking them up. The kids wake up in the mood to rumba and this gets the drag out of the morning.
A great outfit is such an immediate mood booster for adults and kids alike. However, I know my fashion sense isn’t always the sharpest at 6 a.m. I like to get my little fashionistas’ OOTDs ready the night before, so there’s no scrambling in the morning. We pick their looks together the night before, lay them out on the side, so when they wake up, they’re excited to jump into their cool, well-planned getups. To get two steps ahead of the morning routine, I made sure I got my Back to School shopping done a few weeks before. I went to target.com and picked out a handful of outfits, that way my kids were extra excited to plan their outfits for the week.
There have been times when my kids and I were out the door when I realized someone had forgotten to pack their instrument, their notebook or their lunchbox. All it takes is one forgotten item to turn your morning into a whirlwind. That problem was solved when I created a routine chart. I never thought I could find dry erase products in such a fun, thin material until one day I stumbled upon these decals at Target! These are great because they’re not bulky and don’t take up much space. So, I placed these fun dry-erase decals by the door so they can look at their personalized checklist every day before walking out ¡y listo!
A checklist is only useful if I know where everything is. When I initially purchased our dry erase decals, my chiquitos still struggled to make it out the door on time because they were scrambling to find the items on the list. I made an addition that single-handedly improved our productivity in the morning — a cubby! Now cada cosa tiene su lugar and they know to place each item on the checklist in their cubby the night before, and where to find it in the morning. Target has a great assortment of cubby textiles and colors. We especially love our Pillowfort cubbies we bought from the Target app.
5. Have breakfast, lunch and snacks prepped and ready to go.
The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach and kids are no different. I know that when I pack my kids a unique meal and something that speaks to their culture, they appreciate the effort I put into making sure they have a delicious meal. I love being able to provide snacks and lunches that I know not many other kids have. However, I know that cooking breakfast and lunch isn’t realistic during the morning marathon, so I make sure to pack their meals into containers the night before. I’m a huge fan of these Stasher sandwich bags I purchased from Target. They’re flexible, easy for my kids to handle and they hold enough food to keep them full all day. Prepping these containers the evening before saves time and also the guesswork of what I’m going to feed them that day.
This mamá is only as strong as my coffee. So before I start playing tunes for my kids to wake up, before I start gathering their belongings, I make sure I have my extra-strength mom juice ready to help me tackle the morning with my favorite humans. I’ve tried a few different coffee makers and these days I’m obsessed with my Keurig K-Mini Single-Serve K-Cup Pod coffee maker I was gifted from Target. For years, I wanted a coffee maker that wasn’t bulky but had the strength to get me going in the morning. I received this coffee maker as a gift and instantly loved how it fit perfectly on my kitchen counter without taking up much space — but that wasn’t even the best part. My favorite thing about this Keurig is how easy it is to use! When I’m half-awake in the morning, this tiny but mighty machine takes charge and does all the hard work for me.
Thanks to the Coronavirus, many families morning routines are totally out of whack. And that’s becoming ever more apparent as back to school season ramps up and parents are having to play teacher and principal and counselor while also maintaining their work/home lives.
Mexico – which among the many countries that have cancelled in-person learning for this school year – is betting on TV and radio to deliver an education to all students. However, the burden is already being felt by parents who are turning to neighbors and abuelos for help.
Mexico has said no to in-person learning thanks to the Coronavirus but they’re trying to come up with solutions.
Mexico’s government has decided against in-person classes this year, deeming the Coronavirus too big a threat. Therefore, the country’s 30 million students will all be forced to learn remotely, usually from their own homes with family helping out as impromptu instructors.
Officials say the Coronavirus – which has killed more than 60,000 Mexicans amid the nearly 600,000 confirmed cases – is far too dangerous to allow kids back into the classroom.
One student told CNN that “It’s good we’re still having class. But I’m sad because I was going to start high school and meet new people.”
At home learning is tough even in well-developed countries. But in places like Mexico, where only 56% of households have Internet access and many students live in rural, poorly equipped Indigenous villages, it’s a monumental task. So if the law requires all Mexican kids to be offered a public education, the government has decided the best way to do that is over the airwaves, with 93% of households having a television.
In the meantime, the burden on parents, already high during any normal school year, will dramatically increase this year. If kids are going to make progress, parents in the home will be the primary driving force.
Teachers are becoming part-time actors as the government enlists there help to educate the country’s 30 million students.
Many of the country’s teachers have been called upon to join the growing ranks of online teachers. In TV studios across Mexico City, teachers are being dressed and having makeup put on for their on-camera closeups.
For many, it’s a big change. Teachers often develop close relationships with their students – they’re used to setting up their classrooms, hugging kids on their first day of school, and knowing about their interests, passions, and areas that need more focus.
Inside a brightly lit studio at Mexico City TV station Channel 11 last week, fifth grade teacher Omar Morales squinted as a young man with bright purple hair applied makeup to his face. Omar Morales told CNN, that “It’s challenging. It’s no longer 40 kids in a class where I know their names, passions, their favorite games. Here, I’m locked in a set, but I know there’s millions of kids out there who still need that knowledge.”
Morales is part of an ambitious government plan to record a comprehensive set of lessons for all grade levels pre-K through high school and then broadcast them on TV. It has worked out agreements with different TV channels to broadcast that content, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with different grade levels at different hours.
The curriculum the government is sharing over the airwaves is meant to mirror that taught in public schools had they not been forced to close thanks to the pandemic. Music class and physical secrecies is also included in the televised offering, with gold-medal-winning diver Rommel Pacheco encouraging children to stretch.
The government has turned to TV and radio to help make sure the education gap doesn’t grow wider amid the pandemic.
Mexico already suffered from an extreme education gap – meaning that rich kids often received a far better education than poor kids, who were also often from rural or Indigenous communities. This was a major problem long before the pandemic.
For example, relatively wealthy Mexico City saw a 92% secondary, or high-school level, education enrollment rate as of 2019. In the much poorer state of Chiapas, that rate stood at only 59%.
But experts fear that the pandemic could greatly exacerbate the issue – and many acknowledge that TV and radio can’t solve underlying inequalities in the education system. You don’t need to be an education expert to conclude that wealthier students with internet access and the ability to interact with a teacher, even remotely, might fare better than those who get their classes the same way they watch cartoons.