Before this school year started, I shared my thinking about what agency in the time of CoVid might look like.
Now that we are 5 weeks into the school year – thanks to the very special group of educators I get to spend my days with – I am able to share some examples of what we think agency in the time of CoVid has looked like.
… at least at our school anyway!
- We’ve had a whole school Unit of Inquiry where learners have had time, space and support to get to know their learning environments (physical and virtual), their learning communities and to get to know themselves as learners.
- We’ve had teachers and TAs spend weeks inquiring into their learners to begin to get to know them as human beings
- and bit by bit put together the complex puzzle of each individual child by purposefully collecting evidence, analyzing and responding to it
- We’ve launched “Flex Fridays” where learners plan their own day
- We’ve had teachers and TAs invest time in coaching learners about how to plan their own day
- We’ve had teachers and TAs invest time in helping learners understand learning, so they can plan their own personal inquires to pursue
- We’ve had teachers and TAs offer choice-based workshops
- We’ve had teachers and TAs support learners to run their own workshops for their peers
- We’ve had teachers and TAs create time and space for learners to share their talents – within their grade-leves
- and across the whole Primary School
- We’ve had teachers and TAs encourage their learners to choose to share and celebrate learning they are proud of with the whole community at our Learning Showcases
- We’ve had teachers ask for feedback from their learners about what is working and what isn’t and work with them to improve things
- We’ve had teachers invite and involve their learners in deciding and planning of their second Unit of Inquiry
- We’ve had teachers and TAs listen to, honor and quickly respond to the voices of the learners in their pleas for more time for social connections – in the forms of playdates, picnics, hang outs, dress-up days and birthday parties
- We’ve had teachers and TAs plan responsively based on the needs and interests of their learners – from day to day, week to week, and unit to unit
- We’ve had teachers continue to advocate for play and think about ways to support planning for play at home
- We’ve had teachers continue to bring Studio habits of mind and TAB to life
- We’ve had elections for a Learner Voice Board, so learners can represent their peers in the decisions being made in the Primary School
And did I mention… all of this happened 100% virtually.
In 5 short weeks, there are so many examples of how learners are being respected as human beings, being included in decisions about their own learning, having their voices heard, learning how to make choices for themselves and experiencing ownership over their learning. And I KNOW I am forgetting many, many other examples.
Our educators are rock-stars.
And I am thankful everyday, that I get to be part of a community of PYP educators that doesn’t let anything – not even a global pandemic! – stand in the way of what they believe children deserve. ❤️