Within the CLMOOC community, some of us are starting to chat about how to launch a collaborative project around the idea of “hope” as counter to the darkness of the world right now. A few of us are toying around with the theme in different ways (comic, above).
More info to come later .. I hope …
This picture (below) was a hope-themed response to a Daily Create via DS106 yesterday that asked for a picture or gif with a girl, a cow and the moon.
I’m taking part in a research project that documents teachers and the first weeks of school, back from the Pandemic. We’re asked to record our experiences as audio postcards.
Here’s my first audio postcard, after the first day (yesterday). I talk about the successful moments and the strange situation of teaching from home. I’m doing these on my phone, with a mobile app, to record in the moment.
I really appreciate that our principal worked to get our school a bunch of large tents for outside mask breaks and learning areas as we deal with social distancing. But the school grounds look strange with all of the tents.
School has started for teachers — it began last week with ten days of professional development — and students start school next week. Our school is doing a phased-in hybrid approach, which means I start the year remote. This is another in a series of monthly podcasts (except for May, when I guess I was too busy to think about doing it) that I have been doing to record some of my thoughts as the first day of school with students approaches.
Here are the previous entries, in reverse chronological order:
School began yesterday with staff training, and two hours of protocols on staying safe with students and teachers in a building re-opening in a Pandemic was eye-opening and exhausting. Shout out to our school nursing staff, though, who are doing a phenomenal job with sharing information and guidance.
The school year starts today, but the year begins with state-sanctioned 14 days of professional development before students begin (our school is doing a phased-in hybrid model). But this is when the sleep of teachers gets regularly disrupted, and the Pandemic makes it worse, of course.
This comic oversimplifies the sense I am getting in listening to our School Committee meetings, observing local social media postings of residents and local elected officials, and reading the news — but it does seem as if the goodwill towards that educators that came in the Spring when the Pandemic hit, and we working non-stop to reach and engage our students via remote, has shifted to more finger-pointing and negative tone as plans to re-open developed, at least where I am.
Some of the comments in the second panel are actual versions of things I have heard said or read in the last few weeks, and while I know this represents only the vocal people who are worried about how to balance it all and that the quiet ones may be supportive, it’s still disheartening that educators are becoming targets of scorn when it is a lack of a national effort to deal with the virus that has put us all in this spot.
Also, it is important to acknowledge that the current landscape is complicated for everyone, whatever their views. It may be that I am defensive in what I hear because it feels like educators are targets in a political scene, fed by the president.
A few months ago, in the midst of this still growing Pandemic, I submitted a poem about my students and classroom to a writing guild called Straw Dog, which has been curating poetry about the times we live in.
Yesterday, my poem –entitled Words/Matter — was published. The Straw Dog Writing Guild is a regional writing organization that supports and celebrates writers.