I've been reflecting a bit about our journey these past two years. Although, we were back doing in person learning for the entirety of this school year, I feel that our experiences with remote learning during the school year 2019-2020 will forever leave an imprint. Remote learning could be considered difficult in many ways. However, I truly feel that challenges present us with precious opportunities for growth. During this time I really had to check in with myself as an educator. I analyzed what my students needed to know/learn and found that the most important piece had to do with how they felt. We were all apart. There was a lot of uncertainty in the world and I wanted my students to know that they were known and needed. I intended for a lot of my lessons to have a SEL (social emotional learning) component. One lesson was so successful, it made the local newspaper!
I developed a lesson for first grade where I introduced ideas about bravery. I asked students what it meant to be brave and asked them who some people that they consider to be brave are. We talked about how certain Native American tribes would award feathers to warriors for acts of bravery. From here, each student was instructed to create three feathers and submit them to me. I worked to assemble a set of wings composed of the feathers they had made. I then superimposed images of individual students onto the wings so that they appeared to take flight. This collaboration was meant to illustrate ideas of community in a time where we were physically apart. The message from the lesson is that we, despite being individuals, are together as a class; we are a team, a unit. I am so proud of the team that we are!