When I was a classroom teacher, we always ended each week with a closing circle, sharing the best part of the week. Now, at dinner, our family often shares the best part of their day, or something they are grateful for. This ritual guarantees ending each day or week on a high note.
Earlier this week, my daughters’ dance studio sent an email that they were going to hold all of their dance classes live, via Zoom. I was kind of dreading the whole thing. My girls all take a class at the same time on Saturday morning. How would I pull that off?
So, early Saturday morning I woke up and got three different devices prepared for dance classes. We made a plan for where each girl would dance. Luckily, Wren’s ballet class was an hour before the other two girls’ class started. That gave me a little time to trouble shoot…it is possible to have three separate Zoom meetings happening at the same time. Let me know if you need any tips.
As we waited for ballet to begin, I could feel the nerves coming from Wren. We weren’t quite sure what to expect. When her teacher popped up, Wren’s face instantly lit up. One by one, excited students filled the screen. The class was reunited, virtually. For the next hour, Wren practiced ballet in the playroom, just like she would at the dance studio. Each girl improvised, using a piece of furniture as a bar. The teacher paused and gave each student feedback, checked in, and asked questions. She was happy to be there with her students. It was pretty amazing.
Then, an hour later, all three girls were simultaneously engaged in their respective dance classes. This time, Wren was doing jazz and Adi and Rose were doing a ballet tap combo. I walked between the kitchen, living room, and play room, watching my happy kids going about their normal Saturday routine, welcomed by the familiar smiling faces of their teachers.
I was once again brought back to the TCRWP Webinar I listened into late last week. Amanda Hartman had stressed the importance of teachers using their own voices, letting kids know “I’m not alone. I can still be connected to friends and teachers.” I’m thinking about how we can make this kind of experience happen with distance learning. How can we connect with kids and help them connect with one another?
The smiles my kids had during this hour of dance brought tears to my eyes. This was the happiest I had seen them all week, and so, it was also the best part of my week. I’ve always known this dance studio is a special place. The community they have created is filled with heart, heart that now fills our homes with joy.