There were many special, heartwarming, even humourous moments as faculty, advisors, Heads of Houses and students reconnected for Learning With Lakefield this week.
I had a funny moment in my Pre-AP Biology class when Ellie Murdock spontaneously apologized because she seemed distracted and kept looking away. She said: "There is a flock of wild turkeys walking across my field right now!"
The marathon analogy is a fraught and often misunderstood one.
Certainly the first six miles dictates your last six miles and if you go out like you're at an elementary school cross country meet, you will pay the price for your hubris. However, the larger truth of the marathon isn’t that “slow and steady wins the race” because this is patently untrue.
The truth is that a marathon isn't really about distance. It is about the measured application of speed and discipline. It's about making a plan that is responsive to facts on the ground and mutable to change as the race unfolds.
So too is remote learning
Just about anyone can limp through 26.2 miles or a spring term of online teaching. What is required of us isn’t participation, but a performance. What matters in the marathon isn’t just the race itself, but the discipline in training prior; getting out of bed when you don't want to, and running reps on the track in the dark. As my octogenarian coach used to say, “in a marathon the race starts at mile 20”.
After 20+ years of teaching, I felt like a first-year teacher i.e. couldn't sleep last night, had butterflies in my stomach this morning and I'm on a steep learning curve. Once I saw my students smiling faces and heard their voices, I immediately relaxed. The focus on connection and relationships kicked in. It was a great "virtual vibe". We acknowledged that this is hard and weird but then we quickly reframed and talked about the opportunities that this kind of learning can provide.
We came up with a good list!
I was amazed at how emotional I was after the class; it was a mixture of sadness about the difficult situation that our global community is living, joy for having made it through my first class and seen my awesome students, and gratitude for the fact that we are so blessed to be able to do this.
Many students and teachers in the world can't do what we are doing. Lucky Lakefield.
I felt like a first year teacher. I lost my class after only 10 minutes.
Things were going well, great discussions, some laughs, it was nice to see all of my students. I knew they had been sitting for some time. So, because I’m an OE teacher and I wanted them to stretch and be near nature, I asked everyone to walk with their laptops outside or to a window. Well, that was it! My wifi disconnected. After a few frantic minutes I re-joined the meeting where all of my amazing students were waiting for me. We had a good laugh at my expense and continued with our class. Great discussions were had, and my class showed enthusiasm about this new start to the spring term.
Today in the University guidance class, I had all every student online ready to go at 9:28 am! My heart was warmed seeing everyone's smiling faces and I was so impressed with the student's resilience and ability to 'ride the waves' of change and adjust to their remote learning world. A highlight was a student sharing she was 'living her best quarantine life' and ready to learn!
Grove House came together for their first remote house event by competing in Masterchef. Each student made food (individual time zones determining what type of meal was made) and dishes were judged on presentation, style and overall appearance.
It was so great to see my Grade 9 Science class. We ended our first remote class by taking a photo with another "organism" that we have been interacting with within our own environment to kick off our upcoming Ecology unit!
I was really happy to get back together with my students again. They bring so much creative energy to my life. What has struck me the most so far is how keen they are to start making art. One student even asked if I could write her a permission form so she could try convincing her mom to paint murals on her walls! Look out parents...
In the Ryder House meeting, students, advisors and residential staff shared their favourite foods by changing their Zoom name.