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1 May 2020

posted 30 Apr 2020, 18:17 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 30 Apr 2020, 18:17 by Stephanie Williams ]
At our staff hui on Tuesday morning, I reminded the staff that it was now Day 13 of learning from home. It feels like so much longer than that! For some of you who decided to keep your children home before we officially locked the building - it is a long time, especially once you throw Easter and School Holidays into the mix.

As I have said before, and will say again, and possibly again, this move to home learning came out of the blue. This wasn't something we have trained for, thought about and carefully planned with your children and yourselves. Instead, this has been an 'emergency  response' to a situation - just like many of you have had to do in your own workplaces. 

The announcement was made on a Monday afternoon that schools would be closing on Wednesday. As I sat glued to my computer screen listening...... 1000 what ifs and maybes were fighting for space in my head. Less than 2 hours later, I was running an emergency staff meeting. Out came the big sheets of brown paper, the marker pens, the discussion, the options....... and off the staff went...... zooming home with all the resources they thought they may need under their arms. Yes - that's how it happened!

Now we find ourselves in quite a different pattern for a time. You....... and we....... have been defining, refining, stepping and shaping things up as we go. 
Some of you have nailed everything by Day 2 and want more. Some of you are struggling to get much done at all. There is no right - we stretch right across the continuum in terms of what is possible. All of it is OK! We have been in a great pile of uncertainty. 

The great educationalist, Loris Malaguzzi, however, stated that uncertainty is a vital ingredient for inclusive, collegiate learning.... only a willingness to question all of your own abilities and knowledge leads to humility and listening - this is how we educate each other together

In our local curriculum, we, too, have a quote by Malaguzzi, "I am powerful, capable, creative, curious and full of ideas"
It may look different, it may not always be 'right' - for there is no right. But hats off to our staff, children and yourselves for just doing your best. So many rich learnings are already coming from this. The staff are capturing the gems from their perspective and I look forward to sharing with you at a later date, as well as seeking the gold from the children and yourselves and extended whānau (many of whom, I note, have been well hooked into their mokopuna!). 

Don't know about you, but any of my perfectionist tendencies have really had to be packed away - bring on the optimalist! The enjoyment in uncertainty, messiness, grey, possibility and what we are learning from navigating this path we have all found ourselves walking right now! I'm sure it will be better for me in general!

In the Guardian, I came across one of the long reads which is what got me thinking about what direction I would take this Newsletter piece.... it resonated very much with me..... and I think it also may with a number of you too. Italy, of course, has a very different education system and has unfortunately found itself in a very stressful and sad situation than where NZ is at right now..... and yet there is just so much that's similar - Italian Lessons - what we've learned from 2 months of home schooling by Tobias Jones.