Hello again Indi-ED Social-Media-Verse! We’ve missed you!
As you may have noticed, we’ve largely stepped away from social media over the last 5 months. We are sure you can understand why.
COVID-19 has been a test and a testament to all of us and our ways of work.
But as we set our sights on beginning our 2020-21 school year, I could not be prouder of how we’ve handled everything to date.
There are details that you’ll never see but here’s a snapshot of where we’ve been and next week we’ll share where we’re going.
Where We’ve Been
All of our students, teachers, and families moved to remote learning. Unexpected, unanticipated, and in under 24 hrs.
Thankfully, we were about a month into our unit on ADAPTABILITY. I kid you not!
The kids were reading about how people and businesses adapt.
They were going on weekly adventures entitled, “What’s About to Happen Wednesdays?” where they had to complete challenges while keeping a positive mindset, complete challenges, collaborate, and communicate.
They were a part of cooking challenges similar to, “Chopped” where they had to adapt on the fly as new ingredients were introduced.
So while we had no idea that a global pandemic was about to happen, there was no better timing and 100% why we choose to center part of our instruction around values and not just traditional content. The kids had the language.
They also already had the skills. They are always using functional tech tools, communicating in different ways, and trying new things. So finding links or remembering when calls were scheduled for may have been a challenge every once in a while, but overall they still were able to adjust and adapt.
On the other side, because our teachers are always creating content, they too rose to the occasion. What do our kids need right now? Is not an uncommon question. Do they need continuation of a topic? Do they need additional time to process? Additional time to complete activities? New avenues to learn information? Whatever it was, we are used to thinking that way. So was it challenging, 100%. But was there ever the thinking that throwing them on an online computer system for 3 months was going to be the answer? Not even for a second.
As we all began to see what worked and what didn’t and sadly realized that this was going to be how we would complete this school year, we settled in to make sure that our kids completed the year in a way that they were proud of.
The students still hosted their student led academic conferences and completed end of year projects. The teachers figured out how to give end of the year awards that brought people to tears, found ways to connect with the kids and the families, and made them laugh. The kids and teachers even figured out a way to host their final Showcase virtually so that all of our students could enjoy together.
The reason we were all successful was because of our last piece of the puzzle, our families. They kept the line of communication open. They were honest. They were supportive. They encouraged. They did NOT belittle or accuse. We kept on keeping on because we were in it TOGETHER!
We say it all of the time, but in this case, it was even more accurate-IT WAS NOT EASY! For anyone.
The reason we succeeded even in a tough situation is because these ways of work were nothing new!
If we had large numbers of students assigned to each teacher, if we didn’t already constantly communicate with our kids and families, if our teachers weren’t critical thinkers and problem solvers, if everyone did not already feel valued and as a contributing member-then the bottom would’ve fallen out for us just like it did with so many across the country.
We completed the end of last school year with a feeling of pride. We made it. However, we knew we were far from complete. This summer has been one like we’ve never seen before. But if we’re teaching and modeling for our kids that we all will face adversity and that they can move through it, then we knew we could move through this too.
Next time we’ll share how we’ve prepared over the summer and what our school year will look like as we begin a new chapter in this story.