St John’s teaches children that they are empowered citizens of the world. So, it was no surprise when Joslin and Lou Lou devised their plan to solve the Corona Crisis. One solution involves medicine, the other magic. This week, we asked some other children about their ideas. While discussing these topics with young children might feel uncomfortable, it’s important to give children the space to share their ideas and feelings. It can also provide a space to clarify concepts they may have, and give them the opportunity to take some control back during a time where we are all facing new restrictions.
Charlie: Find a chalk board and write ‘No one can come into this house.’
Responsibility broken down is our ability to respond. We are all trying to understand our capabilities and responsibilities during this time and hope to rise to the occasion. But what can children do? We continue to explore the impact children can have, and what we see again and again, is their ability to spread joy. While many children have knowledge about their circumstances, they are not bogged down by it. The children are like wells of happiness and through their physical or digital presence and their art and expression, they extend an invitation to join their happiness. Louise suggested we could send messages to doctors to tell them how much we love them. Elle left a message on her sidewalk. Children have still been leaving their rocks that spread joy. What are some ways your children have brought levity or cheerfulness to your home?
This week, Rowan reminded us of our Tucker Room wall of failures, asking if we’d continue to collect and post them. Boy, if we had a virtual failure wall, we could have filled it this week just with all the Zoom stumbles. There was our attempt Wednesday to split into breakout groups, which resulted in Kian magically disappearing and reappearing, much to his amusement and delight.
In another group we tried different ways to say "I love you" using hugs, sign language, and hearts. We succeeded.
The third week of distance learning also brought many beautiful moments. As we settled into our new virtual schedule, we had frank discussions about the challenges of learning and connecting virtually. One-on-one chats gave us opportunities to talk about our feelings or just catch up in a more relaxed way.
The interactive studio sessions resulted in some wonderful hands-on experiences. In Tuesday’s session, children created visual references to help organize their days. Visual schedules give children a sense of control and empowerment, and we saw the children’s ownership and enthusiasm.
In Thursday’s studio session, children noticed lots of details while drawing each other’s portraits. As we expected, they discussed hair and eye color, clothing, and other features. What we didn’t anticipate was that they would draw from live Zoom images instead of still photographs. Is it that live video is more captivating and communicates more about a person? Is it that portraits are more meaningful in context? We’ll keep exploring.
This week we were pleasantly surprised to see so much continuity with life in the classroom. We watched on Seesaw as children carried out their satellite and portrait projects through several stages— planning, designing, building, sharing, and revising—in much the way we have in the past.
And we marveled both at the children’s creativity and at families’ collaboration and documentation.
In one small group, Josie shared a recent discussion with Lou Lou in which the two made plans about how to solve coronavirus. Jossie’s idea was to call an expert and find out if there’s any medication for the coronavirus, then go to the areas where people are sick and bring them medicine. Lou Lou’s idea was to sprinkle magic to make everyone better. Not only did this perfectly fit their strengths and personalities, it gave us ideas about new directions for our Helpers thread. Next week, we’ll explore how the children can be helpers in the home, community, and in the world.
Pieces of Tucker Room experiences.