Preschool during COVID: After seeing how well her preschool-age students rose to the occasion at Montessori School of Seattle in 2020, teacher Hayes K. Mott decided to commemorate their efforts in a picture book, “All That We Can Do! A School Year in Mask.”
Blurred photographs of the students and original text mark the big efforts made by some of Seattle’s littlest students in an unprecedented school year.
With pages where the students “Make beautiful things to share, to show, and grow,” this lovely picture book, dedicated to “the strong students of 2020” shows how day-to-day activities go on, with masks, and how even the youngest students understand how to work together at preschool during COVID. And with this read-aloud book, little kids can see their own reality reflected on the page as this highly unusual school year winds down.
As Mott remarked in a letter to parents receiving copies of the book, the Capitol Hill preschool’s teachers really didn’t know what to expect when the school reopened.
“But never could a child’s tolerance for masking be anticipated!” she wrote. “This was the responsibility left to the children. And, wow, did they succeed!”
The book is available on Amazon, and Mott hopes to send the picture book to publishers (and independent bookstores and educators) soon to share the hope and joy of a school year that worked out when masks and health rules were followed closely — and everyone worked together.
This story was first published on March 22, 2021.