Best Part of the Week…

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.

21 thoughts on “Best Part of the Week…

  1. So cool! It is great that your kids can all keep a loved Saturday routine like dance lessons. You did a great job – fining three places, setting up the devices. I am using Zoom to meet with my co-authors and draft, revise, plan and for my Arcadia class. I used Zoom for a reading council meeting and I am starting to get the hang of it. Your post and photos are inspiring!

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  2. So sweet! We are so lucky to have the technology that we have to stay connected. I agree with you that kids need to stay connected with kids! I am sure we will get there! Wren’s looking mighty flexible, Adi has that pretty posture, and Rose, well that tutu says it all!

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  3. The best part of the week–for your girls and for you. How great is that! I loved the photos; they love their dance classes, that’s obvious. I’m happy they are able to get their lessons virtually. What a fine teacher they have, too, giving feedback. Normalcy even when virtual helps keep us all going.

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  4. This is wonderful! So beautiful that your kiddos can continue their connection with their friends and their teachers. I was ‘at’ the TCRWP webinar as well, and took away the need to let your students see each other and their teacher. We did one last week. I’m hoping to do live lessons next week. Fingers crossed!

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  5. I love that the studio brought the dance classes to you. I’ll bet it was the perfect way to release some energy for the girls!

    In fact, you just inspired my slice for today since our synagogue held religious school that way this morning. THANKS!

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  6. I love this. It’s amazing to see the three of them on different devices in different rooms but with the same engagement. We will get there. I’m not sure if our Google Meet sessions will be as dramatic and engaging, but then…maybe they weren’t as engaging as dance in the first place. I think just getting the faces and the more natural conversations will be a huge improvement.

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    1. I agree. Connection is so important. I bet if we got those kids into a classroom now, their engagement would be sky high. We will keep working. In the meantime… Slice of Life for kids starts soon. We should talk!

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  7. This is ridiculously adorable1 I don’t know how you stand it! I hereby officially dub your babies commercial kids. They look like they could be sprawled across a magazine somewhere! #simplybeautiful Wonderful post to share mom. I am just delighted… #sigh #artinmotion

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  8. Oh I LOVE this so much! How awesome that the girls’ studio is doing Zoom dance lessons. I wish Sami’s studio would do that, too!
    I am using Flipgrid to stay in touch with my students and using Zoom to have meetings with my coworkers!

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