Recovering from the Pandemic

After Chaos and Closures, QuaverSEL Helps Teachers Come back to the Classroom

By Kristin Clark Taylor

“My kids know what it feels like to be kind.”

I can almost feel the gratitude and, yes, the relief in her voice as she speaks – and this Texas teacher tells her story from a place of shining truth: QuaverSEL has been, and still is, a real life-safer. 

Long before the lockdowns shuttered every school in the nation, music teacher Kaundria Gay had already been using QuaverSEL in her classroom every single day.  Her students were already familiar with the colorful on-screen characters, the lively, enduring lessons, and the cutting-edge technology. 

So when the world as we know it changed – and every classroom closed — her students already knew how to cope, how to show kindness and compassion, and, equally important, how to keep learning … even though they were now learning from their living rooms.

What prepared and positioned them for continued learning and a heightened capacity for kindness and compassion – even in the face of a global pandemic – was one important tool: That tool, says Kaundria, was QuaverSEL.

“Before the shut-down, my kids had already been exposed to the lessons and the values that QuaverSEL teaches,” she says. “They already knew the characters and the technology. We’d already discussed what it looks like and feels like to be kind, to be compassionate, to be respectful. QuaverSEL gave us the tools we needed.”   

The Learning “Never Stopped”

Kaundria says that even though classrooms closed, the learning channels remains opened and accessible.

“When schools shut down,” she says, “my students could just open up their folders and go straight to the lessons, right from home. The learning never stopped.” 

But there was a period of adjustment when her students returned to the classroom. Kaundria says that a fair amount of re-learning had to take place once everyone returned. 

The good news: QuaverSEL was there to help, yet again!

The Sound of a Smile: Music teacher Kaundria Gay is all smiles when she talks about QuaverSEL in her classroom.

“QuaverSEL is Helping us Hit the ‘Re-Set’ Button”

“After being out for so long, I quickly realized we’d have to learn to work together as a group again. How to get along. How to respect each other’s spaces,” she says. 

“We also had to learn how to process all of these new and very intense emotions. So much had happened in the world, and many of my students were directly impacted,” she says.

Kaundria, who teaches at Hearne Elementary in Houston, Texas, says she relied on songs like, “Anger’s Not the Boss of Me,” and “You-Nique” to motivate, inspire, and remind her students that they could, indeed, get through the difficult transition of returning to the classroom. 

“We’re still adjusting, really. And I’m super-grateful that QuaverSEL is helping us hit the re-set button.”

What other QuaverSEL tools have helped her students “press re-set?”

“The counting and breathing exercises continue to help us work through some of our intense emotions. And because we’d been doing these exercises before the pandemic hit, they already knew the techniques. It was really an added bonus.”

QuaverSEL helps ALL humans.

My conversation with Kaundria takes a courageous and deeply personal turn as she reflects on how QuaverSEL helped her push past the grief and sadness in her own life, too:

“During the pandemic, I went through a very challenging time in my life,” she admits. “My father-in-law passed away and my father passed away,” she says, the sounds of sadness and longing filling her voice.

“I’d also just given birth to my second child. Schools were closed. The world was suffering. Emotions were running high for me and my family, to say the least.”

This time, she says, she turned to QuaverSEL for a personal boost, which helped her and her family tremendously.

“My older daughter, who’s in elementary school, listened to the ‘Coping with Grief’ song quite a bit, and it really helped her during that time. In fact, the song helped me, too. These resources really helped all of us on our journey through grief,” she says with gratitude and pride. 

“There was a lot of sadness in our home for a while, and QuaverSEL kind of  helped us through.”

Kaundria ends the conversation just as she began: With a smile, a bright dose of eternal optimism, and a hopeful heart, filled to the brim with gratitude:

“We’ve all been through so much,” she says. “It just feels really good to have everyone back together, making music again, singing songs again, and learning together again.”

Thank you, Quaver!”

Kristin Clark Taylor is an author and a journalist.

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For more information about QuaverSEL, go to quavered.com/sel/.