Learning from a distance together
Four weeks ago we were plunged into a new way of learning, working, and communicating. To some degree we may be mourning life as we lived it before March 16, 2020. Life at times seems surreal. As learners we are defining new routines and systems which serve to bring a sense of normalcy. For our students they are figuring out distance learning with MUSD EducatEveryWhere. There are challenges for them, and for us.
Parents have shared gratitude for the time and effort our teachers, principals, and team members have invested in assuring every student has what they need to engage in distance learning. They have also expressed how difficult this transition is as they try to navigate the roles of parent and teacher. While it is often easier for youth to quickly adapt, that isn’t always the case for those of us with more years of life behind us.
Anxiety and worry are common feelings, and while the graphic What Can I Do if I’m Feeling Worried? is designed to help our students navigate these feelings, it is helpful for us to use ourselves. Naming emotions allows us to feel them and then move on. Getting outside provides us with time to notice the world beyond ourselves. Being present and consciously using our senses rejuvenates us. This 2-min. video offers insight on How to Clear Your Head. Our emotional well-being is essential to our physical and spiritual health, and our ability to think creatively.
Every advancement starts with the power of creativity. Creativity inspires joy and passion in what we do. Thriving in this new state of being is fueled by our sense of purpose. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” a question that can cause anxiety or spur imagination. It’s not really a question of what we want to be, it is a question of how we want to be, a question about purpose. Sheltering in place offers us opportunity to talk about purpose with our teens, and more so, it offers us a chance to think about our own purpose.
As I listened to a report about the Dear Stranger letter writing project in Oregon, I was inspired. What if WE exchanged letters or emails with one another to build our MUSD community? How much better could we come to know our neighbors? I invite you to join me in participating in the Dear Milpitas Parent & Community Letters Initiative.
The world has had historic eras where humanity has made great gains. The Fourth Industrial Revolution that was softly disrupting many aspects of work, has been accelerated in this time of sheltering in place. The sudden halt to the busyness of life allows us time to fully realize the importance of community.
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