It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.
What will school look like this year?” It seems I have been asked this question 10 times a day this summer. Every time I am asked, I give the same feeble answer: I don’t know. I don’t even dare guess. Not this time.
And none of us know, do we? A present without a future leaves everyone feeling unmoored and uncomfortable. Who knew how much comfort could be found in the simple act of looking forward with hope and positivity?
It’s not possible to plan or imagine what’s coming in the weeks ahead. I can’t muster up an image of anything beyond tomorrow. I had a flash of self-realization: my process of existing in this universe is defined by setting goals and chipping away at action steps. I thrive on thinking ahead and anticipating roadblocks and then pouncing, cat-like, on potential solutions. Problem? Solution. Problem? Solution.
But all of that is gone. The only thing left is the present. No wonder I’ve been rudderless.
I took to doing some reading about this, and found this gem from Damon Linker:
Human beings live their lives in time. Our sense of ourselves in the present is always in part a function of our remembrance and constant reinterpretation of our pasts along with our projection of future possibilities. We live for the person we hope to become.
Knowing why seeing a future is valuable, we can look forward to what is ahead. But these days that sight is not of a specific event or goal. What we hold on to is the knowledge that something good is coming, something that will require all our strength, ingenuity, and passion for our work. That “something” will be here soon enough,
This week we look at ways to sustain remote learning communities. Plus more as always—enjoy!
Contributor, Choice Literacy
Jen Schwanke is a principal for the Dublin City School District in Dublin, Ohio. A graduate instructor in educational leadership, she has written frequently for literacy and educational leadership publications and blogs about her experiences in learning and leading at jenschwanke.com. Follow Jen on Twitter @Jenschwanke and Instagram @jenschwanke.
Jen Schwanke reflects on the challenges of helping our youngest learners with distance learning, and shares examples of how teachers she works with are building communities with young learners in spite of all the hurdles they encounter.
Clare Landrigan shares a wealth of ideas and practical resources for creating and sustaining virtual and hybrid learning communities.
Mandy Robek lists her favorite 10 read alouds to build community in primary classrooms early in the school year.
Capitalize on the bitmoji craze by creating a bitmoji classroom for use in your virtual instruction. Here’s a guide to show you how.
Check out our new and affordable lineup of online courses to help you navigate the challenges of remote and blended teaching and coaching. These courses are free to our paid annual subscribers, and the low fee of $39 for non-subscribers includes a two-month membership to the site.
New members-only content is added each week to the Choice Literacy website. If you’re not yet a member, click here to explore membership options.
“What comes after we start?” Sara Kajder answers this tough question from a first-year teacher about what it takes to sustain a remote learning community.
Poetry can be the glue that holds many virtual classroom communities together. It works for quick morning meeting openings, transitions, or even a bit of laughter when energy is flagging. Cathy Mere shares her favorite poetry resources for remote learning.
In this week’s video, Gigi McAllister has two reading partners in her fourth-grade classroom do a quick practice of retelling their stories.
In an encore video, Katherine Sokolowski refreshes the quick-write routine in her fifth-grade classroom by using a video as a prompt.
Supervising and supporting instruction is never easy for literacy leaders, and remote settings compound the challenges. Matt Renwick shares his best advice for providing assistance in virtual learning environments.
New PD2Go: This workshop guide and video demonstrates how to use the “Who Am I?” activity early in the school year to build a learning community.
In this demonstration small group, Tammy Mulligan uses video to help sixth graders self-assess their performance in a book club. The lesson includes a prebrief and debrief with the classroom teacher.
Many leaders are exhausted from the uncertainty and endless disruption of plans that have been with us for months. Scott Eblin demonstrates a simple technique for a “mental reset” you can use throughout the day to calm your mind and move forward.
I don’t cry because we’ve been separated by distance. Why? Because for as long as we share the same sky and breathe the same air, we’re still together.
Donna Lynn Hope
That’s all for this week!