Creating Good Habits

Christine Laaksonen works with her teaching partner, Jodi Young, to sort books for parents to pick up.

By Rob Peterson

For 28-year veteran teacher Christine Laaksonen, developing good habits is a way to get through this quarantine.

“I thrive on the rigorous schedule of teaching,” she said. “I was aimless at first, but then I had to establish a routine so the days wouldn’t slip away.”

This echoes her plan to keep her Vicksburg Middle School students engaged. “Most of what we’re doing at this age is building good habits, and that is difficult for me to do remotely,” she said. To overcome this, she will model good habits herself, logging in to respond to students’ questions and providing positive reinforcement to the students on Google Classroom, the online platform that Vicksburg Schools is using.

She recommends parents build a daily routine to create predictability. Another way parents can assist their child is to let them to contact their teacher directly. “Middle school provides an opportunity for the kids to fail safely,” she says. “Giving them some responsibility will help them to transition to high school.”

Her great disappointment of quarantine is that she spent the entire year building a routine with her students. “I really love the end of the school year,” she says. “You can enjoy the culmination of a year’s worth of learning, and you’ve developed a classroom community with routines firmly established and lots of laughter.”

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