“The job of an online teacher is the job of an offline teacher is the job of a teacher. Connect to people and help them to feel connected to you and to the dimension of the world you are leading them to experience. Connect your students to one another in a way that enables them not only to learn content from one another but also to catch life experiences from one another—to shape one another in the way that only peers can. It’s that simple… and it’s that complex.”
A Letter to Educators Teaching Online for the Very First Time – Ed Surge
Dear Saklan Community,
As we work through week three of our distance learning at Saklan, the quote above struck me. At Saklan, we brag about the importance placed on being connected with students and families. Yet making those connections work through online learning has its challenges. In the first two weeks, we tried to nail down the academics. This week we have incorporated live sessions with the specialist teachers. By next week, we will begin incorporating more ways for kids to connect with teachers as well as each other.
Teaching through a pandemic has had its challenges. We appreciate your support and patience as we have built up (and continue to improve) our program. While we have had feedback from parents, I would like to take this opportunity to collect it in one place. Please take a moment to share with us your thoughts on how things have gone so far, what we have done well, what we could do better and how we can better support your family. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other news:
- We will be holding our first Virtual Friday Flag on Friday, April 17th, at 9 am. Please have the whole family join, it will be fun. We will be sending a Zoom invite early next week.
- The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is around the corner on April 22nd and Ms. O. has lots of plans! Keep your eye out for more information to come.
- Our first Virtual Family Groups is planned for May 1st at 1:30 pm. Family Groups is for students in 1st – 8th grades. This month’s theme is Compassion. Parents are welcome to join. More information to come.
- Most of you must be aware of the Zoombombing issues that are happening within Zoom. We have instituted the correct protocols, and Zoom has updated its software. We are continuing to monitor this situation.
- Our hot lunch vendor, Food for Thought, is offering meal delivery on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. The menu is more “adult” than their student meals. As a bonus, they are selling toilet paper and rice in bulk! Using them is a great way to support local businesses in this time of need. Pick up will be at Perpetua School. Click here for more information.
- Do you have a favorite local business that could use our community’s support? If so, share with me a few details, and we will promote them within our community.
- Saklan will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall towards the end of next week. Details will follow in the next couple of days regarding time and date.
- Next week, the Business Office will begin processing credit memos for unused bus and extracurricular fees.
Lastly (and sadly), on Tuesday, the Contra Costa Office of Education announced that school campuses must remain closed until the end of the school year. Although this announcement was expected, it is not the news we were all hoping for. While I had wished they would have waited to make the decision, I understand why they wanted to make the decision earlier than later. That said, it is starting to look like the sacrifice of social distancing may be paying off. While I would never claim to be a math guy (or a doctor), the curve does seem to be flattening. As a community, we have accomplished much over the past few weeks, but it has been a heavy lift. While it has been hard, I hope that it may begin to feel that we are finding our way out (as in out of the house).