Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 Day 20

Today, March 20th, 2020, I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Story Challenge.

Emails were flying this week.  As I am sure every school district is doing right now, we are engaged in the challenge of figuring out how we provide an education to our wonderful students from remote locations.

Our plan began with a Zoom meeting amongst the department leadership and administration, according to the email from my principal.  As I read this email Wednesday, I thought about the other emails she had sent, telling all of us on the staff how she misses us.  How she is here for us.  Is there anything she can do.  In her correspondence, I sense her support, her desire to maintain some human connection with the staff.  And it helps.  I appreciate her so much for these efforts.  For in our work, it is connection with each other – kids, teachers, principals, paraeducators, all of us – that matters.  That makes a difference.  How will we create those connections remotely?  I suppose that remains to be seen.  But I feel quite fortunate to be part of a group of people who are dedicated to kids, who truly want the best for them, and who I know will go to great lengths to make sure what we create will be the best it can be.

Here’s to this new journey.  Deep breath.  Here we go.  As my union president colleague entitled her email recently, “It’s Game Time.”

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 25 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops, twowritingteachers.org.

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 Day 20”

  1. Good Luck! I think one of the harder challenges of our new norm, is making and keeping the connections. Students thrive off of the connection between they have with their teacher and peers. We have been off all week and I am struggling to find ways to continue that connection. Hoping to utilize Zoom or Teams to have a class meeting!

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    1. I couldn’t agree more. It is the human connection that is the secret sauce, I believe. We are not instructing college students who have elected to take an online course; these are kids who need people, teachers, to show them we care about them. I guess we will all do the best we can…thank you and good luck to you, too!

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  2. The human connection is so important- now more than ever. I listened into the TCRWP office hours yesterday and Amanda Hartman said, school is so important right now because of the social piece it can offer. I hope we keep that at the forefront as we create this new world of teaching.

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  3. What a wonderful thing to discover the community and support system you are a part of. We need each other now more than ever. Mr. Rogers advised children to “look for the helpers.” There are always helpers and we need you all.

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  4. We will be entering this discussion over the next few days, as the central admin folks figure out the same thing your team is muddling over. My library plans for upper grades lend themselves well to online activities; for the lower grades, I’ll have to do some investigating on managing read-alouds legally with easy accessibility. I currently work at a higher-SES campus, but my Title I background has me worried about that sizeable portion of our district without stable internet access. It will be interesting to find out how central office will tackle that issue.

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  5. The support of colleagues means so much as the threads of our connection are pulled apart. Zoom and Google Hangouts are more nourishing to our souls than anticipated. What a lovely principal you have!

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  6. It occurs to me that we might not, in the normal course of things, say how grateful and appreciative we are of each other. People are saying it a lot now … my school had a Google Hangout today and everyone was sending virtual hugs, etc. We can offer supplemental resources to kids during this time but we are not to even use the word “recommended.” It is truly a new “game time.” As you said, deep breath, and let the journey begin … such an encouraging slice.

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  7. “In her correspondence, I sense her support, her desire to maintain some human connection with the staff. ” I honestly believe this is what helps refuel us during the day. To know that our administration sees the work were doing, appreciating it, and supporting us. Before all of us left for work today my principal came over the intercom and thanked all of us for going above and beyond these last two days. She was truly indebted to us all and so proud that we represented NMS. She couldn’t ask for a better family.

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