School will certainly look different this year! Whether homeschool, virtual school, hybrid model, or social distanced in person, schooling is going to look different for everyone!
While we have lots to be grateful for in the midst of illness and fear, there will be the need to adapt. We have a few suggestions to help support communication and connectedness for our kids and teachers heading back to school this fall.
- Loudness limiting headphones –
Kids in virtual or hybrid models of school will need some fun – but safe – headphones to make listening and participating as easy as possible. An inline mic (meaning a microphone built into the cord) is a big help in the classroom, as well!
Our New Online store carries Earbuds and Headphones with safety limiters to protect precious little ears! They include fun colors and stickers to make them fun and personal.
- Clear or windowed masks
Early language and pre-literacy development relies heavily on visual cues. Those of us with a background in language development have found this to be a huge concern around widespread mask use. Social and emotional development also relies on facial cues that masks can hide.
Masks designed to help the hearing impaired by allowing for visual cues, can help provide the skills in the classroom. Early childhood development teachers and Early elementary school level teachers may find it quite helpful to use clear or windowed masks during lessons on phonics, feelings, or other lessons that rely on facial cues.
Let’s be honest – Masks can feel kinda miserable sometimes, especially in North Carolina in August! Kid faces run a range of sizes that aren’t quite covered by the mask size options of “kid”, “adolescent”, and “adult”. EarSavers make for an adaptable fit to keep little faces covered and little ears comfy.
If I could bottle patience and sell it – I would probably keep it all for myself! I could use every bit! But it will be something kids, teachers, and parents are going to need a lot of in the weeks ahead! It will be important to remember that in the same way we talk about increased “cognitive effort” in individuals with hearing loss, our teachers and kids will be adapting to changes and working harder to do even the basic tasks of the school day. Expect your kids to come home much more tired than last year, especially for the first several weeks. Practicing with masks at home (especially while doing something fun) will make the school day easier. If you have the opportunity to make (or have delivered) dinner to a teacher friend during the first week of school, I am sure they deserve it!
- A sense of humor!
We are all on this adventure together. The most lovely part of 2020 has been that everyone is experiencing big changes and problem solving as a community. Treat others with even more grace and kindness than you usually would as we are all coping with stresses and changes.
If you would like to help support our local Durham-Chapel Hill business, our online store is located here: https://hhcsdurham.square.site/s/shop
Our clinic serves to measure, monitor, protect, and manage hearing. Check us out here for more information: www.HearingHealthCareNC.com