Hectic. Yet gratifying.
Those words from Kyle Lawrence describe the experience of many middle school teachers as virtual learning at Lausanne continues.
"It has been fun for me to relinquish some control and allow my students to take ownership of their learning in the Social Studies realm of education," Lawrence said. "I enjoy the freedom my students now have to pursue their own passions with Genius Hour."
Lawrence said he misses seeing his students face to face, giving them high fives, side hugs, fist pumps, smiles etc. He said he also missed being able to read their emotions and understand by their quizzical look that they are having issues.
"Middle School students are not always the best at admitting they are having issues, cognitively or social emotionally," Lawrence said. "This is why our Daily Focus check-ins every morning and our one on one check-ins have been great."
For teacher Maria Pirani, the past couple of weeks have shown her how resilient her students are.
"They are hanging in there like champs and going with the new flow of things as best they can," Pirani said. "They are adapting as needed and reaching out to conference as well. We teach organization and time management skills in middle school but now they are truly being put to the test and the kids are succeeding."
Virtually reaching out to the class in new ways has also resulted in some digital fun, such as a daily focus time that ended with each of the students doing a Tik Tok dance that ended with everyone on the call belly laughing.
And then there is the video that middle school faculty made for their students that gives them a peek into what their teachers are like in their homes away from the classroom as they deal with life in their new normal.
"We are so proud of our middle school teachers for the way they have exceeded expectations with our sudden implementation and delivery of our distance learning format and the ways in which they have created innovative ways to interact with our students through technology," head of Middle School Greg Graber said. "You can tell the teachers and students alike are having fun in the process!"
Speaking to Lausanne teachers you realize that while they are adapting to the new virtual classroom, nothing beats the face to face interaction and classroom environment that makes Lausanne special.
"The team of teachers I get to work with on a daily basis is incredible," Pirani said. "The thought and ingenuity that goes into online teaching is incredibly time-consuming. They have all stepped up to continue to show the kids how much we care about them and their learning experience."