COVID-19 Teaching Diary Day 10: Closing Circle

Today was day 10 out of what felt like 100 days of quarantine remote learning. I tried to end the week with a communal closing circle. There were fewer kids than I expected, but a number of school staff joined us. It was good to connect with them. They were happy to connect with the kids.

I started the circle with a celebration. "Congratulations! You did it!" I blew a horn I had lying around from some past birthday.

I don't know if the kids feel strained or challenged by remote learning, but I do. I can imagine many of them do too. I wanted them to know how proud I am of them for any and all efforts they put into it this week.
My third graders and I made today "Fancy Friday"

Drawing from Responsive Classroom, we each shared something we were proud of this week. I was proud of connecting more kids to Google Classroom, and using an interpreter to try to better teach two kids who's first language is Arabic. Several kids shared they were proud of getting on the video calls.

Our next share was a hope or dream for the week ahead. During this share I started to feel emotional. I knew in my heart I had two hopes.  I hope next week I'll see some faces I haven't seen since March 13th. And I hope more than anything that everyone in our community will stay safe and healthy.

Some kids shared that they hoped school would open again.

People who know me, know that I have a difficult relationship with my school. It has been a challenging place to work. It often feels dysfunctional. But a dysfunctional community is still a community. The adults and kids are connected to one another. We care about one another, and today was a powerful reminder of the relationships we've built. We all miss each other a lot.

I want our school to be better. I want us to serve kids and families better. I want to be a part of that effort. For now our challenge is so much bigger and so much more fundamental. We have to figure out how to stay a community while we're kept apart.


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