PYFA Ask a Teacher.JPG
Ask a Teacher

Navigating Online Learning during COVID by asking questions to a panel of teachers. You can find the meeting minutes by scrolling down. 

Navigating the Storm

PYFA is excited to present this event as a means for our community to have a resource related to mental health both within the context of the Covid-19 crisis and otherwise.

Conversation Corner 1

Our First Conversation Corner starting with Pastor Cecil Mathew.

Conversation Corner 2

For our second installment of Conversation Corner, we hear from Filson Thomas and Josiah James on the topic, 'Leading for Change.'

Conversation Corner 3

The Process of Healing: Covid, Reopening and Racial Reconciliation.

Testimony of a Miraculous Healing

Pr. Benjamin Thomas, Ben N Mercy Thomas is back from the hospital after 102 days!. The Lord gave him a miraculous recovery after several weeks in the ventilator!

PYFA Youth Devotional

One of the ways our ministry has shifted is by focusing more on our social media platforms. On April 6th, we began a video devotional series through our YouTube channel. Every Monday, we will have a youth from the member churches sharing a word of encouragement to all.

Ask A Teacher Minutes & Resources 

Monday, March 23, 2020 


What (Anita T): What is remote learning? Trying to keep children on track and help them academically. It will help your child in the long run.

How (Anita A) : Maintaining energy levels. Need to set up the space and to set clear expectations. Working from morning to night is exhausting for children.

Trust your HS kids to be independent.

Be mindful of frustration levels when we are doing one thing and helping the kids. Kids need repeated instructions. Please be calm. In a classroom, the teacher knows the child and adjusts accordingly. Parents think the child learns the way you do but it's not the case. Handle your frustrations by taking a break

How do we keep our kids accountable? (Nina T)

Linda A. (Elementary)

Scheduling is important. Make a checklist. Make them check off what they have done. Offer rewards. This serves to motivate your children by allowing them to take control of their stuff. Choose rewards. Have fun ways to make them learn and allow them to accomplish goals.

Keren (Middle School)

Similar but do not let them create their own schedule. Give them a schedule and allow them to check up on things. Rewards system works well. Give them a break, TV games.

Within a school day, they have recess. So they can’t work continuously at home.


Anita A (High School)

For HS kids, trust them. Follow their HS schedule. Follow their school period schedules. They will know their break time.

Check their online grade accounts first and then check on them. They can work independently. Just monitor their grades.

It’s easy to say – go ahead, take extra courses, push yourself and beat your peers. This is not the case. Have them focus on their work and pace themselves.

Have an honest conversation about the situation in the world. Tell them “Your role is to do the work. My role is hold you accountable.”

Anita T. (Speech Pathologist

Works across all school levels with Diff needs.

It’s very Important to make their schedule with them . They will be interested when schedule is a part of who they are. Let them decide when they should start with...decide different breaks – movements, exercise, snacks, favorite video games, call someone, browsing breaks.

Keep tweaking the schedule for minor changes and they will stick better

Chat Question - How to handle conf. calls or your work stuff in between?

 Anita A -

Schedule - after breakfast is work time. Addressing issues is after lunch.

Remember, whatever is assigned will take less time at home. Work steadily in the mornings. Have backups - cleaning, reading options B, C D.

For younger kids – hard to keep occupied – for very young kids give them what they like – ex playdoh, fav. toys

It's ok to be flexible – plan what to you’ll do when things go crazy – maybe like go take a nap, talk to your sister. Come up with a list of plan B activities


 – Just be easy on yourself and be flexible. Try to do the best you can

What expectations should we set?

Anita A - Because this is remote learning, the child does not have to compete, they will finish ahead of time. Don’t punish for extra time. Listen to your child. And be creative.

What do you recommend outside of a laptop? 

Keren– Kids are bored because they finish fast. Youtube has a lot of DIY projects. Get the instructions. Kids nowadays lack the fundamentals of math. Basic arithmetic. Memorizing tables and stuff. If you finish these problems and then get them to play.

Anita T– Have this conversation every day – What are you going to do when you have extra time tomorrow? What should we do? They might have some good ideas.

Anita A – Use the time to talk to your kids and get to know them. Your child will not remember the work but the conversations you had, time you allowed them to bake and cook. So don’t mess it up with too high expectations. They will remember that.

Anita T – Get  a spare book /journal  use 5 minutes – 2 lines of what you enjoyed today – Express yourself


What do teachers prefer – Online or classroom experience?


Anita A. – Prefer in -room teachers

Linda A – Classroom because it is interactive

Keren – Classroom exhausting but splitting attention online is much harder. Communicating online is harder. Detailing everything you normally talk in a way is harder

Anita T- Classroom is good but I am trying to embrace this time. We are showing a lot of creativity and flexibility and excited to see how this will help us

Nina T – Classroom because now we miss out on the best part of teaching, making jokes and hanging out. Online is less exhaustive. If the teaching is shifted, we will attract a different set of teachers. 


 How to Help Kids with Unique Needs:

  • Make sure your child’s work space is clean, organized and with limited distractions. (Parent can sit in their child’s space for 30 mins and do their own work, and see what they hear, see, notice, can improve on for their child’s benefit)

  • Use a timer to help your child be mindful of time but they may need more time than their peers to complete their work

  • Read the directions aloud to your child and have them explain what they think they are supposed to do. 

  • Praise your child for what they are able to accomplish and especially when they keep trying.

  • Look at your child’s IEP (individualized education plan) and read it in its entirety. Highlight what the teachers and providers say helps your child learn and use those tips to help your child.

  • See if another adult or child in the home can explain a topic to your child in a way that is easier

  • Use visuals through Google images or videos to help enhance their learning

  • Repeat what you said, use simpler language, make sure you look at your child when giving directions/information, make sure all the surrounding noises are reduced as much as possible (i.e. TV, radio, computer, internet stream, cellphone videos, screaming child, singing grandparent, etc)

  • Give movement breaks (ex 3 minute Go Noodle video)

  • Provide opportunities for child to explain what they do understand, so you can fill in any missing essential information

  • Take a break and return after appropriate time; or change academic subject and return to the harder topic later.

  • Ask your child what their teacher does to help them when they have a hard time with something.

  • Let your child feel safe in telling you how they are feeling and what they think may help

  • Email/contact the child’s teacher for any tips that they can share on your child, it is okay to ask for help especially during this time because it is difficult for Everyone.