The Joys of Remote Learning

May 2020   Keeping Connected

“Can you hear me?”
“Would you unmute yourself?”
“We can’t hear you, you are still muted?”
“Can you see my shared screen?”
“Can you hear the video?”
“Would you please move your camera so that we can see your face?”
“Would you please repeat that?  You are breaking up.”
“Sorry.  Only one person can talk at a time.”
“I can’t hear you.  Please get closer to your microphone.”
“Is that your cat walking across your desk?”

These phrases are probably not unfamiliar to any of our students or to you. Teaching remotely has certainly taught us a lot about patience, tolerance, and kindness with each other. It has also brought us a lot of joy and laughter, as we would not really be able to do this remote teaching without a bit of a sense of humor to help us through each class and each week!

What you might not be as familiar with is all the fabulous things happening each week inside those Zoom squares. If you came to Preschool, you might see the youngest students in our school eating breakfast while listening to a story. In the K-2 class, you might hear about acts of loving kindness that the students do each week at home. In the 3rd grade class, you might see some awesome structures of buildings in Israel made out of Legos, waterbottles and any other material you might find at home. In the 4th grade class you might see the students recalling important ideas and words from their curriculum and turning it into wordart. Peeking into the 5th grade, you would see kids acting out some of the Passover plagues, in their bedrooms for their classmates to guess! In 6th grade, you might see the students holding up answer cards in response to some tzedakah “would you rather” questions. In the 7th grade class, you might see the students playing Kahoot, answering questions about the various Jewish lifecycles. And all of that is just on Sunday mornings!

On Wednesdays (Sunday morning for Kitah Aleph), the students are all hard at work continuing on developing their Hebrew. Most of the students meet one on one with a teacher to practice reading Hebrew, work on understanding the prayers and learning new parts of the Hebrew language. It is inspiring for me to get to sit in on many of these classes to hear the wonderful work and the progress that is being made each week. In addition, many of our students are working for an additional period of time each week with a madrich. Together, the student and madrich meet through Zoom and continue practicing and learning Hebrew. Communicating with the madrich and hearing about their sessions with the students is a highlight of my week. It is a beautiful relationship and both the madrich and the student are gaining so much from this relationship.

The publication of this article will probably be coming out just as we are celebrating teachers at our Teacher Appreciation Shabbat. Words cannot express my appreciation for the teachers for all their hard work and effort throughout this entire year. It has been a year of transition and changes. I feel like it has been a successful year in so many ways and it truly took a village for that to happen. We all worked together to create wonderful learning environments for our students, both in the building and with the online learning. Thank you to the teachers. Thank you to the staff. Thank you to the Rabbi. Thank you to all the families. Mid-May will bring us to the end of our formal school year, but I will look forward to continued communication and work with you and your students all summer long!

Schedule for May (as of 4/26/20 – subject to change)

May 1 – Teacher Appreciation Shabbat – Virtually – 6:45pm

May 3 – Remote Religious School (PreK-7); Remote Kitah Aleph

May 6 – Remote Hebrew School

May 10 – NO SCHOOL – Happy Mother’s Day

May 12 – Post Confirmation

May 13 – Remote Hebrew School

May 17 – Remote Religious School (Prek-7); Remote Kitah Aleph; LAST DAY OF SUNDAY SCHOOL

May 20 – Remote Hebrew School; LAST DAY OF HEBREW SCHOOL