Social Emotional Distance Learning

If you're a teacher like me, you're already going a little bonkers from kid withdrawal. How can we nurture that connection - that spark - that makes learning and teaching so compelling and rewarding - when we're only communicating within the abstract realm of digital - or analog - correspondence?

Here are a few of the prompts my colleagues and I are posting to connect with our Crews at Open World Learning Community (OWL). Reading my kids' responses has been my CPR, my Comedy Central, and my calming breath. To all my colleagues out there, be strong, be brave, and be there for your kids, in silliness and in sweetness.

Share a Link: Post a link to a website, online game, or video stream that you’ve been visiting while you’re at home & say why you like it.

20 Questions: Think of an animal, plant, food, household object, job, well-known person, or famous place.
Post a discussion reply saying, "I'm thinking of a..." and then say the category. For example, "I'm thinking of an animal."
Read other Crew members' posts and ask everyone a yes or no question to try to guess that they're thinking about. For example, "Is the animal a mammal?" (not, "What kind of animal is it?"). Keep asking until someone guesses right - or until 20 questions have been asked.
If the Crew can't guess what you're thinking of in 20 questions, you won!
If you guess what someone else is thinking of, you won!
If you participated, you won! Thanks for connecting today!

Recommend a Movie: What movie should we all be watching? Is there a great comedy that would get us laughing, or a fascinating documentary?

Stay Positive: Post a positive word that starts with the first letter of your name.

Live Musically: Listen to an on online concert or other live stream. Share what you heard and how the experience felt.

Get Off Screens: Spend 2 hours doing something off-screen that benefits others. Cook for your family, walk a dog, restock a local Little Free Library, or clean a room in your home.

My Crew routinely hosts OWL Random Acts of Kindness and Adventure (ORAKA), a collaborative competition based on the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt. I've posted a list of challenges students, parents, and staff can try at home - like writing a postcard to an elder in a nursing home, or making an e-card for a kid stuck at home on their birthday -and then post photos to share with the Crew.

However you connect, know that your presence, interest, and attention make a difference for your students. The powerful resonance we feel as teachers isn't just for us - it's for our students, too.


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