The Rebound Indiana: Helping teachers and students cope with e-learning

Madeline Mason.JPG
Posted at 5:30 AM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 16:16:49-04

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INDIANAPOLIS — As teachers and parents are adapting to the new dynamics of e-learning, RTV6 is sharing how one educator wanted to give back.

In a video series, social emotional learning coach for Washington Township Schools, Madeline Mason, is arming teachers with tangible tools they can practice at home. Mason is also a Teach for America Indianapolis alumna and fellow within TFA Indy's Investing in Innovation Fellowship.

“We do a lot of breathing exercises, we do some visualization exercises," Mason said.

Mason teaches them mindfulness and coping mechanisms, recognizing many teachers are experiencing new stressors, while navigating the digital world completely transitioning to e-learning.

“It’s like we went from 0-to-100 pretty much overnight. I experienced a lot of teachers feeling like they aren’t doing enough," Mason said.

“My whole aim all year long is to prepare students for not only the high-stakes tests, but the next year. And to make sure that I can fill in any gaps," Dr. Sheila Akinleye said. "Make sure they are thoroughly prepared and they can move on successfully. And it’s really hard to do when you can’t see them when you don’t talk to them very often.”

A math teacher at Northview Middle School, Akinleye said Mason’s videos have really helped not only her, but how she can help her students, too.

“For me just helping me to be centered, to remember to breathe," Akinleye said.

“Have compassion for yourself and give yourself grace so that you can then extend that to our students who are struggling with the same things," Mason said.

Prioritizing keeping her math lessons light, fun and engaging, Akinleye is now also checking in with her students emotionally.

“We talk about what’s going on in our lives," Akinleye said. "Sometimes a lighthearted discussion about coronavirus. Any questions they have, what’s coming up, what we think will happen. Just whatever they really feel like talking about so that they don’t feel confined."

Both agree, the need for some uplifting is huge right now.

“We need our teachers, we need all of our people to be well to be able to connect with our kids and keep our world going," Mason said.

Click here to view Mason's YouTube channel.