Communication and Relationships
When thinking about how families, children, teachers, and communities are enduring in these times, I am curious about the things that are working for them. What works? What brings peace and well-being? For each individual among us, there is another answer. On the large scale of California, this an overwhelming notion, however advocacy and agency for each one is a must, not optional, nor perhaps, a MUST.
Expanded Learning has a unique and powerful connection with children every day after school and over the summer. This connection has to do with communication and relationship. A safe, consistent, and caring individual who provides support in the most vital hours of the day. Time to process and understand the events of the day and what has actually happened. Learning, building, friendship, loyalty, compassion, joy, competition and creativity to mention a few of the multitude of skills that come across the table of a child each day. So much of learning and processing happens in the telling of it. Their voices are being heard. To be heard is among the most precious of our human rights and it takes two.
In addition, practices such as home visits, phone calls, open classrooms during lunch/recess, after school clubs and listening circles. These sound very simple; however, they have worked effectively over time. Especially, for those ones who are on the outside needing support and do not know where to start or who to ask. Expanded Learning relationships are current, present and ready to go. Expanded Learning has to expand, multiply and delve into the everyday supports where the children need them most. If there is one thing, Expanded Learning understands, it is to adapt. Adaptation is not optional...it happens before our very eyes and as an educator; it is among the most spectacular of the learning moments we witness.
As we are thinking about re-entering school, or as a dear colleague reminds me, as we reunite or have our reunion, I want to be compassionate to each one and their particular needs, hopes and dreams. This is a conversation worthy of thought, time and heart. Thank you for this opportunity to share my voice and I wish you well-being.