I don’t know about you, but the last week has been intense.
From learning that school would be closing for two weeks at the end of the school day on Friday to having the Governor mandate that schools close for at least three weeks. From coming to grips with the fact that my students may not have left school with enough physical books or their writers’ notebooks as we weren’t given enough notice to plan for that. From sifting through the overwhelming amount of free resources that have been offered on social networking platforms to select the ones that will best match the needs of my students. From listening in on a variety of professional development podcasts and LIVE sessions on Facebook to choosing the takeaways on which to act. From stepping out of my comfort zone to being ready to try new things.
Shoot, this whole situation is brand new to everyone.
A common thread that has been woven through all of the turmoil has been the need for connection. Be present for those who are in your immediate space. Be kind to yourself and connect virtually with others who lift you up. Make yourself available to others to offer a sense of stability and assurance.
This morning I tried something new. I sent an invitation to all of my students last night to join me at 10:00 this morning for a “Virtual Morning Meeting” on the Zoom platform. We connected. We smiled. We greeted. We laughed. We shared. It felt so good.
After a few missteps, I was able to figure out how to share my screen and talked through a slide show I prepared for my students. I had shared it on Google Classroom, but wanted to let students know what was there and nudged them to explore many of the resources. I know that students will now enter the weekend armed with an incredible arsenal of opportunities to further their learning in self-directed paths.
If you haven’t heard of Zoom or have been hesitant to set one up, I urge you to check out the platform and Zoom into action. It’s now free with time limits waived for educators. Fun fact: for those of you who remember the Brady Bunch, the “Gallery” view sets up the screen to look like the iconic opening multi-box page.