Today was a no school, catch-up, and rest day at Trinity. While I had couple of meetings and finished up the summer learning orders for faculty, I had a rest and observe day. My husband, a high school math teacher at Marist, and my daughter, a freshman at Westminster had school today. (They both had Thursday, April 9 as a no school, catch-up, and rest day.)
For the first time in seven weeks, I can observe school as it happens at home. My husband spent the day in his office assessing his students using Google Classroom and Google Meet.. Now he is grading and offering feedback to help his learners grow and strengthen their understanding.
My daughter spent the bulk of her day on the back porch at the farm working from my favorite spot. (I feel like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory: she’s in my spot.)
Today, she had Chinese at 9:00. I am wowed at her communication in and out of the target language. She has drafted a short story in Chinese to illuminate a series of images provided by Laoshi (her teacher) and hopes for feedback soon.
Next, there was art class. She is working on a piece that moves Mona Lisa into outer space. She has been prototyping to learn a new technique for a week. Her teacher shipped supplies so that she is working with a new surface and new materials so that the asteriods have dimesion and rise off the surface. During each class, she uploads a photo of her progress and chats with her teacher about progress and next steps.
Then, she attended a class meeting to connect with her gradechairs and classmates.
Finally, she had P.E. She shared a draft of her final project with Coach Joel and received feedback targeted toward her skills and interests as a thrower. He is also her throwing coach for Westminster’s Track and Field Team.
None of these classes were totally sychronous. There were check-ins and feedback moments.
As a parent, my job is to make sure the conditions are there so that she can learn. My job continues when she needs support to muster the motivation to do the assigned classwork.
I am in awe of what all educators and parents are doing to support learning, foster curiosity, and love our students and children.
As a teacher, I miss seeing the joy learning brings when we are in the same space. I got a nice dose of it today. Sam celebrates his students’ good work. Annie shares her successes and questions over dinner.
When you feel discouraged and doubtful, dear friends, please know that we are teaching and they are learning.
And, thank you for sharing. We love seeing our students learn, grow, and find joy. We need to see them and their learning.
I am so grateful to all of Annie’s teachers: Jack Morgan, Pamela Martinez, George Berry, L.B. Joel, Evan Munger, Steve Stodghill, and Lily Liu. You are teaching and she is learning.
And to her coaches, Gary Jones and L.B. Joel, for making a season when there was hardly any competition. You are teaching and she is learning.