Silver Linings Playbook #sol20

Silver Linings Playbook #sol20

April 7, 2020

The fact that it’s nearly noon, my hair is air-dried, and m just getting to my slice probably indicates a few things. Last night I baked cookies just to prove to myself that I still have a few skills. I need a little shoring up. I miss kids. I miss so much. I know you do too.


In a half-full, bright spots way, I’m going to try and reframe my thinking, not for the first time. Yesterday in my fourth or fifth google hangout of the day, a teacher said, that will be a benefit of this time.

What?? I thought. What is going to be a benefit of this crazy, hard time? And then I thought, what can we make into benefits?

There are a lot of personal perks if I look closer.  It’s nice to have lunch with Bob.  We have dinner at home every night. I can walk the dog at lunch, work outside if it’s nice.  I haven’t worn anything but casual clothes in weeks.  Today I made a video with wet hair and no make up.  

But I want to notice deeper things.  What are we doing/saying/thinking about our learning community…

Teachers are definitely becoming a part of home environments.  They see rooms, toys, siblings.  They talk about play, about dinner, about yards and families and chores.  We had these chats before, but now these lives are intertwined.  Most kids seem good and safe.  We are reaching almost all.  

We are drilling down to what’s most important.  Maslow before Bloom so to speak.  Daily check-ins on how everyone is doing.  Follow ups if someone is missing.  Shared snack and playtimes.  Jokes and sing-a-longs.  Everyone present, their paras, the counselor, our principal and assistant principal, the intervention teams.  All are rallying together, fully present.  

We are giving each other grace.  It’s ok to ask questions over again.  It’s ok to need help and ask for it.  It’s ok if the lesson, the chat, the technology is less than stellar.  Everyone’s learning… 

Speaking of technology,  I thought I was pretty tech savvy, but I’ve learned a lot over the past few weeks.  Not just about platforms and sharing, hanging out and hyperdocs, but also about a whole different definition of slowing down, wait time, and gradual release.  

We’ve talked a lot about content.  Considered a lot about what a lesson is, what we hope to accomplish, what we can let go.  These talks and considerations are much deeper than they have ever been before and they were strong in real life as well.  Now all the ways we build agency and independence are more important than they ever were and it shows in the way we talk, in the way we teach.  

How we work together has changed too.  How we don’t mind so much if other’s know what worries us.  Now we think less about the beauty of our lessons and more about the heart.  We feel connected… apart.  

9 thoughts on “Silver Linings Playbook #sol20

  1. I feel your place in this post and love your wisdom “Maslow before Bloom” and the feeling connected..but apart. There is the bitter sweet, but you always make it taste lovely in your writing and with your way. Thank you, Susan.

  2. The sentences, “We are drilling down to what’s most important. Maslow before Bloom so to speak. Daily check-ins on how everyone is doing.” resonate with me (and I’m sure all of the educators) because how else can we start the video chats aside from making sure everyone is safe and healthy. It really reframes how I will approach teaching students in person, in the future. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Like you, I experience inner-conflict when noticing the positives in this time, but I’m trying to give myself permission to do so. It’s all we have to hold onto. Naming and framing those alongside each other, as you’ve done, brings me hope and gratitude.

  4. We feel connected …apart. That says it all! I have been overwhelmed by the connection, the learning, the collaboration over these weeks. After 12 hours online I am exhausted and exhilarated. I do think we will be forever changed in how we do this work together. See you tomorrow!

  5. You’ve brought up such good things to think about. I appreciate how you started with how hard things are–it makes it feel more real when you write about looking for the bright spots. I enjoyed all of this. One silver lining you shared that particularly struck me was “teachers are definitely becoming a part of home environments. They see rooms, toys, siblings. They talk about play, about dinner, about yards and families and chores. We had these chats before, but now these lives are intertwined.” I’ve been doing Google Meets with kids, but hadn’t quite thought about it in those terms. Thanks for the perspective!

  6. This is such a beautiful reflection of your learning and how you are meeting everyone’s needs during this time, including your own. This is such a different, and often difficult, way of teaching and learning (and living), but we need to find the positives! 🙂

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