This morning I watched on the news the rise of the virus with littles. This invisible antagonist has no mercy. As an educator and mother, I reflect and wonder…

F2F. Virtual. Blended. Address the gaps. Access. Equity. Highly doubt there is a silver bullet or panacea for our current “how to do school” predicament. And “there is no box” so I highly doubt there is anything we can buy to meet everyone’s needs. We must embrace the challenge of creating a new normal (as if normal even exists 🙃) Gather perspectives, have collaborative discussions, create something, refuse to live in fear. As Isabel Allende recently reflected: “We can’t live in fear. Fear stimulates a future that makes living in the present a dark experience. We need to relax and appreciate what we have and live in the present.”

⏱Yesterday is not an option for learning environments. Showing up from 8-3, moving from class to class, getting to a specific place to learn is no longer. What if school did not fit in a time and place constraint? The more a child is engaged, the more they will learn. What if we engage our students in new ways?

⚙️Kids are always learning, especially littles. They are curious, have vivid imaginations, and given the opportunity, most would play to learn. I read yesterday about a 12 year old who watched YouTube videos and built a tiny house. What if littles chose topics and explored them deeply? Play…Research…Create…Present? What if we delivered a set of legos and Sphero/iPad to every child? What if…

🧩High schoolers run deep, manage anxiety on a daily basis, and have brilliance we, as adults, often miss. Sometimes our expectations as teachers and parents (learn this, do it this way) gets lost in translation. What if we engage with relevant reflection what our kids really need to know such as the creative process, coding, literacy, and… Could learning opportunities (like classes) include research, various forms of communication, creative process, and connection with community? What if middle schoolers and high schoolers did not take 7 different classes but instead designed learning experiences with teachers and experts and had the opportunity to pour their heart into their learning? What if…

🎯Over the years, my children have learned high level transferrable skills not directly connected to what they have had to produce for school – entrepreneurship; coding to create and problem solve; cooking, designing, and giving to others; building virtual communities; managing servers for teams; and more. Skills grown from their passions, from their circle of friends, from their desire and wiring to tinker and create. What if….

✈️Flying 30,000 feet, in my opinion as I reflect, we are a generation of educators who never experienced a pandemic during our formative years nor did we grow up with constant access to information and instant global connection. K-12 learners have experienced a level of trauma and grief that no other generation has experienced. Not that pandemics haven’t happened in history, but a pandemic with 24 access is new. Both hearts and minds must be part of the discussion, or this next generation may navigate hidden and buried fears that could implode with devastating consequences. Okay, maybe little dramatic in words, but having had children experience losing a father at 3.5 and 1.5, I have experienced first hand how childhood trauma can manifest itself in unexpected ways. Thanks for reading.

Praying for our today, for decisions being made, for protection from the virus, for opportunities to love and help others during this time.

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