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Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

  • 1.  Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

    Posted 12 days ago
    Hi all!
    Has anyone had the experience where some of their 4 and 5 year olds do not want to go on Zoom because it makes them too sad? We have Zoom 4 times a week with a mixture of  "morning meeting," "lunch bunch," and music class. Many of our parents are reporting that their kiddos do not want to come on because they are getting to sad.

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    Karen Ballou
    Preschool teacher
    Child''s Play
    W Greenwich RI
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  • 2.  RE: Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

    Posted 11 days ago
    It helped when the parents switched to speaker view on Zoom so that the kids only saw one person at a time.  All those faces that you can't talk to normally is disheartening for me too.

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    Pamela Post
    Chelten Child Development Center
    Dresher PA
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  • 3.  RE: Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

    Posted 11 days ago
    Yes! I teach a full-day 4K and a full-day 3K class (4s come 3 days, 3s come 2 days). I do Zoom sessions once per week as I am uploading 8-9 daily videos to our class Seesaw page. Some students cry at the end, some prefer to not join, and some want to watch the others, but not talk. I've let the parents know that all of their reactions are okay. This is so weird for adults, I can't even imagine everything the children are experiencing! Some of my students think their friends are mad at them. Some thought everyone else was at school and they were stuck at home. As a parochial school I can talk about what's happening and possible feelings during my Jesus Time videos. Those are less "intense" for many of my kiddos as it's just a video of me and not 'live'. Anyone could create videos talking about this situation and feelings or even read a book about feelings for kids to watch whenever. Sesame Street has some helpful hints too. Keep doing what your doing. Many kids need to see you and know that you didn't change! :)

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    Heather Finnegan
    Preschool Teacher
    Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with School
    Delavan WI
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  • 4.  RE: Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

    Posted 10 days ago
    You could try writing a simple social story about why we have to meet online.  They may have difficulty realizing that their friends are there with them in real time because it is not the same as playing with them in person.  Maybe you could try smaller groups of children together on a Zoom call so they can interact with one another.  It might help them have a more personal interaction.  You might also consider talking to the parents of those children about arranging virtual playtimes over Zoom with a friend.  Finally, this would be a perfect teachable moment to talk to the kids about sadness and how to deal with those feelings.  I hope this helps.

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    Lisa Dumoulin
    Early Childhood Special Education teacher
    Cahokia Unit School District #187
    Granite City IL
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  • 5.  RE: Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

    Posted 10 days ago

    Karen:

    I'm working with parents during this time when they have questions about their child's behavior or development at home.  I've had a few parents tell me this or something similar.  Either their children are sad after the meetings or they are increasingly distracted and unable or unwilling to sit for the session.  I think this is a natural consequence of a very unnatural situation.  The novelty has worn off, children miss their friends, they miss "normal" play and activities, and they miss their regular community and structure.  I've heard this from parents of two to four year olds.

    I've suggested the following things to these parents:  1. Talk with their child about how they're feeling, and supporting them with understanding and compassion.  "I understand that you miss you're friends.  It's really hard to be apart from them for so long."  Sometimes being heard and understood is the best support.  2.  Ask the child's teacher if they could do a one-one session with their child.  The child can show the teacher their room, etc. and perhaps they can read a story or do an activity. This has seemed to help children immensely.  They might be missing the personal interactions with their teacher.  3.  Replace Zoom meetings with snail mail, sending notes and pictures to friends, teacher, and family.  4.  Let their child know that they can join the class Zoom if they want to but that they don't have to.

    Adults have adapted to Zoom and to connecting to colleagues, family, and friends through the screen.  For many children it's unnatural and overwhelming.  I also know teachers who have decided to limit the group Zooms and focus on connecting individually with children and families.  It helps the teachers to connect in a more personal way also.
    Hope some of these suggestions are helpful.



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    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
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  • 6.  RE: Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

    Posted 9 days ago
    I find zoom meetings to be incredibly draining so what if you reduced the number of meetings per week? That might help as well as supporting the children in feeling sadness.

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    Susan Smith
    Director
    Heart and Hands Montessori
    Lafayette CO
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  • 7.  RE: Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

    Posted 9 days ago
    I agree that the original excitement of seeing classmates does decrease, almost as their connection to their classmates has decreased. I decided Zoom once a week for a show and tell/ sharing time.  Students have seemed more excited to show something that goes along with our theme of the week. We had a student share his watermelon plants. Students have shared pets and things they couldn't share if we were in the classroom! Parents are helping and being creative which is wonderful, AKA parent involvement!

    Just keep trying and see what works.

    Abby Trossbach
    Pre-K Teacher
    St Michael's School
    Ridge, MD

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    Abby Trossbach
    Teacher
    St Michael's School
    Dameron MD
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  • 8.  RE: Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

    Posted 9 days ago
    Hello!
    I had this problem with my classes after about 3 weeks of virtual learning.  I talked to the parents of these children to ask if we could hold one-on-one chats.  Since I have three teachers in my classroom, it was easy for us to do.  AND not all children wanted to do one-on-one chats.  Some of our children who said they were sad didn't want the one-on-one chats either.  We have kept in touch with these children via parents emailing us pictures of what they are doing at home and then we comment via email.
    Also, changing the view on Zoom from gallery view to speaker view allows one person to be seen at a time and is not so overwhelming to the children who are more shy.
    Hope these ideas help!
    Denise :)

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    Denise Swanson
    Fenton World of Wonder
    Fenton MI
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  • 9.  RE: Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

    Posted 8 days ago
    I have also seen/heard of children being too sad to Zoom. I have been on furlough but have chosen to attend my class Zoom meetings to still connect with my students, even though I am not the one leading the meeting, so I don't really have any control of the content, number of meetings, etc. I have talked to a couple of other furloughed teachers at our school and one of them told me their 4 year old told her she was too sad to attend. During the first couple of weeks of zoom, there was one little girl who cried the whole time. She was seeing kids in the classroom and was wondering why she couldn't be there. We had originally had 2 Pre-K classrooms but due to most students choosing distance learning, there was only one class needed. She didn't like that some of the kids that would normally have been in my class were now in her classroom. She would cry and say, "You aren't in the right class." To me it seemed that covid-19 had turned her life upside down and seeing things different at school was just too much for this particular child. It seems totally understandable to me. As an adult, it has been hard to deal with all the changes,  so I think we really have to try to understand what children are going through. I am very sad myself after a Zoom call. There is another furloughed teacher that I have talked with and we have similar emotions. It is hard for us to hear the kids say, "I love you. Can you come back today?" We do it to stay connected to the kids because that is so important even though it is hard emotionally. I have found that they love to receive emails and pictures about what I have been doing at home. That gives us something to talk about. My school is in the DFW area of Texas. During the quarantine, I have been with family in East Texas. Our school focuses a lot on outdoor learning. I have taken lots of pictures to send them to show them that things are much different in East Texas. At school we had talked about the difference between the city and the country. I have taken pictures from the front yard to show them that there are no neighbors to be seen, unlike their neighborhoods. I have been doing activities with my nephews and niece outdoors and sent pictures and videos of those. For example, last week we went fishing, horseback riding, walking in woods and hunting for tadpoles.  The kids loved hearing and seeing about these adventures. They wanted to see the barn and arena for the horses, so I sent pictures of that. They met my nephews and niece on zoom. I could tell that this all helped. They may not understand why I am not at school but at least they can see that I am ok and not sick. So some may not be ready for zoom,  but there are other ways to connect and maybe once they feel more comfortable they may choose to join again.

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    Amy Bowman
    Euless TX
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  • 10.  RE: Preschoolers too sad to Zoom

    Posted 8 days ago
    Hello,
    I am a mentor coach and we were just talking about this yesterday--either the child was a bit shy when they saw themselves on the screen or too overwhelmed by the many faces.  In our collaboration with the teachers, we talked about either having the parent turn off the video and go to host view.  This way they can only see the teacher and if they want, they wouldn't see themselves on the screen but they were able to see and hear the teacher and/or the class, depending on the child's feelings at the time.  I think the best is for the teacher to send out the different options that parents can explore while doing their distance learning prior to class time that eases what their child is feeling.

    Debbie Milligan
    Mentor Coach Preschool
    Family Services Association
    Moreno Valley, CA

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    Debbie Milligan
    Mentor coach
    Family service association
    Corona CA
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