Connecting in Isolation - Community Circles Online
Relationships happen over time, and learning can take many forms. Community Circles are an excellent tool for building relationships among students. In circle, students practice speaking and listening from the heart, being spontaneous, and respecting confidentiality. Over time, students learn that our unique stories matter, and they build a closer classroom community in the process.
During this school closure, students and educators have sought connection while in isolation. Online community circles are an effective tool for building community in distance learning. The same guidelines and deepening levels of questions are employed as in face to face circles, and a mind-mapping tool is used to create a visual representation of the circles and its members. Using this format, participants share their feelings (self-awareness), focus on listening (self-management and relationship building), learn about others' perspectives and experiences (social awareness), and make decisions about what to share. Community circles support well-being, build relationships, and have a positive impact on our community. Circles is a vitally important tool to build relationships as we head back to school in the Fall.