Jordan Rappaport, Educator, Brown Ridge Public School, YRDSB
Staying connected with friends and family and feeling a sense of community will be the driving force behind how we navigate our way through this pandemic. The most most important thing now, more than ever, is how we take care of our families, friends, neighbours, small business owners etc. We will see better days by being thoughtful, reasonable and compassionate
'We're all in this together'
As educators, the journey we are about to embark on is unprecedented and there are complex challenges we will face. Yet, if we use our current circumstances as an opportunity for reflection and growth, and approach moving forward through the lens of ‘we’re all in this together’, we will adapt, overcome and persevere as better people.. This will undoubtedly have a profound and positive impact on our practice as educators and to the system we’ve dedicated ourselves too.
One of the immediate challenges for teachers in this new era is how to capture and build a sense of community for our own children, our students and the colleagues with whom we work and support. Health and well-being must come first. Any decision around how to support our children and students through these circumstances must be framed around their mental and physical well-being.
VNPS and Thinkingclassroom creating opportunities for collaboration
As an educator, my practice is largely grounded in the research of @pgliljedahl and his work around #buildingthinkingclassrooms. Using #vnps have been transformative in providing meaningful opportunities for students to collaborate, to share ideas and to make thinking come alive. At home, in our effort to maintain a sense of connection, we’re using the Wipebook Flipchart to, amongst other things, highlight a math challenge or puzzle we’re going to work on together, to post up the daily workout for my wife and I, or to keep track of our ongoing Spikeball tournament.
Incorporating #thinkingclassroom and #VNPS at home
This has provided opportunities for rich dialogue at home, such as discussion around patterns and relationships when working on the classic #towersofhanoi, developing criteria for the type of data worth keeping track of for our physical activities, and thinking about different food combinations that are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
But most importantly is how we as a family might be able to share ideas with the broader community as we lean on each other as sources of support, because when the dust settles, we will realize how very little we need, how much we actually have and the true value of human connection.
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