It’s been a week of I don’t knows and we don’t know yets. When I get an answer, the answer changes. All of this has to do with the reopening of our schools for in person teaching. Some students will choose in person, others virtual. The end result remains to be seen.
One thing’s for certain, when we get back to our buildings, our classroom community will have changed. Children are going to be placed in A and B cadres. The classroom that was will be no more. This is the hardest part. More difficult than the logistics of recess and bathroom breaks. or the physicality of maintaining distance and wearing of masks. The hardest part will be the dissolution of the class we created over the last eight months. We have gone through this together. We’ve worked through it all. It breaks my heart to take it all a part with only a month and a half to go.
The new configurations will result in a new mix of people and interaction. Regardless of whether they are in person or virtual, the classroom experience will change. Who might say more? Who will emerge as a leader? What friendships will form?
What keeps me afloat through this uncertainty is that what I know to be true about my students. No matter the configuration or the environment, I am certain there will be goodness.
When asked, “How do you know someone’s your friend?” They show compassion and understanding of what it takes to form friendship.
A: When you like the same things, but not everything is the same. One thing is different. That means you like similar things but you are ok with somethings that are different.
K: It’s hard to know because we aren’t in school, but I suppose when we start talking on social media. We play games. That’s a friend.
H: Friends help you when you are having trouble.
E: They don’t hurt you, they help you.
S: When we hang out a lot.
X: If you fight, no matter what, they will be your friend. They will say sorry. One little fight won’t spoil it.
B: When they let me be my own person. I am able to express my feelings with a friend.
G: A friend will protect me.
When the classroom changes from one to two we will know how to regroup as communities. Of that I am certain.
This week’s questions of the day:
Monday: How do you know someone’s your friend?
Tuesday: Would you rather read a book or have a book read to you?
Wednesday: When do you eat breakfast?
Thursday: When did you go to bed last night?
Friday: What is your favorite cereal? (A’s question)
12 thoughts on “friendship in uncertain times”
This has been a year of constant change. I feel for you having this major change with only a month and a half left. It will be like starting the school year all over again. You are wise to focus on friendships. That is the one thing that brings us joy during these troubled times.
It almost feels like it would have been better to go virtual all the way this year. Returning is like starting a school year all over – new groups, new routines, new agreements. Hopefully the relationships that you have built will make the transition easier.
That does sound like a challenge. I like the word cadre. When we were in two groups, we called them cohorts. We ended up disliking that word. It sounds like your students are kind and adaptable. Kids are so resilient. When we were in cohorts, they found ways to stay connected. Sometimes they wrote to each other.
Changes are so difficult. And at this point in the school year, with the finish line coming into sight, it all makes me wonder — at what cost? That’s a big change, indeed. We’ve been in-person in my Massachusetts school district since September, but there’s also a remote-all-year option, which I chose to teach from my empty classroom. Our final shift begins on April 5th — the last call for remote students to come back in. I’ll lose four students, and while I’m happy for them, I’m sad that our little remote community is changing for the final 10 weeks.
This is a difficult change and I understand why it seems so unfair this late in the game. There is most likely pressure at the top to get the bodies back into the rooms. You will adjust. Your kids will be OK, but it still feels wrong. You have managed your remote classroom better than most and built a vital community. You will do that again. It’s who you are.
I am so sorry that this change will disrupt the flow that has been established. Kids and teachers are adaptable so I know you will meet this challenge head-on. Good luck to you and your students!
The thing is you know it will work out, for everyone hopefully. It is absolutely true that the kids will take your lead and hang together in their shared experience. We’re all learning to be flexible. That’s part of friendship, too. All the best!
We’ve had some excellent debates about cereal this year! That’s a fun chat question. (Last week we had a spirited convo on an otherwise very dull day about where you’d most like to travel, and I have some new places to add to my own list–especially Kyoto–SO beautiful!). I needed your hopefulness at the end of this post today. So many questions and worries in my mind going forward. Writing to you about it in a letter right now in fact!!
There has been so much change over the last year and changes are still happening. Your students’ responses show such wisdom.
Your students will be okay, Their responses are evidence of the community you’ve helped create and nourish. Keep up the amazing work and finish strong!
You’re so right. The community you’ve created will be no more. Such a sad loss so close to the end of the semester.
I love your students questions.
You continue to build people. foster ideas and shine your light on their brilliance.