5 Words. 5 Tags.

Written by Chelle Wabrek, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs
Happy Saturday (I know it's not Friday......my week was spilling over!),
On Wednesday evening, a friend tagged me in a Twitter challenge:  5 words, 5 tags. Her tweet was, “Staying more curious than certain,” leaving me to mull over my five words. I landed on, “Embracing productive discomfort with courage,” and the chain continued, piling up inspiration:
  • Approaching the unknown with optimism.
  • Learning everything the hard way.
  • Two toddlers equals three jobs.
  • Everyone helps everyone. On repeat.
  • Progress takes priority over perfection. 
  • Teamwork makes the dream work. 
  • Always “look for the helpers.”
  • Will trade yeast for flour. 

It became a really interesting way of thinking and framing all the things I had seen during the week. It pushes the mind to encapsulate a moment. 

“Creating surprise in the everyday.”
Smiling, alert faces hard to come by in the meet?   Enter AP World 'guru' named Steve Heimler.  Students thought they would be listening to one of his fast-paced DBU lessons, only to hear the video begin with, “A quick shout out to Ms. May-Beaver’s AP World class at the Lovett School in Atlanta.”  Their faces were priceless….even at 9:00 a.m.!

“Enacting knowledge and instilling hope.”
Designing culminating experiences for students has been the refrain for teachers over the last week.  Ensuing that reflection is included in those culminating experiences requires students to situate themselves in their work and to find personal inspiration in these works of expression. Meredyth spoke directly to these points in our parent webinars this week. 

“In praise of Lovett’s teachers.”
As she spoke about the way distance learning looks at Lovett in comparison to other schools, Meredyth noted, “It should look different because you signed up for Lovett!  And we will prioritize social and emotional growth and development over and over. Learning continuity can only happen when this is in place.” She went on to say that when we speak about SEL, most often people think of anxiety and depression or bullying, but ensuring that we have students that know how to reflect, to use unstructured free time, to develop their own passions and ideas, and to grow self-efficacy, are all crucial pieces of this work. 

“Love is IN Lovett.  Perfection.” 
Over 60 faculty members joined us for a conversation with Stephanie Rogen, principal and founder of Greenwich Leadership Partners, about assessment. She spoke inspirationally about all she has learned about Lovett during her interviews with students, parents, employees, as well as thousands of surveys.  As we closed, we asked for her parting words for Lovett:

My wish for you, is that you use this time to co-create your future.  Ensure students are invited in to the conversation and that teachers continue to feel the freedom to design instruction around enduring understandings. 

You can watch the whole conversation here. The next Lovett Learns conversation takes place this Wednesday, April 22, at 3:30 p.m. with educational futurist and psychologist Marc Frankel of Triangle Associations.  Zoom info: https://zoom.us/j/92152584752?pwd=YlUzNExITVBjMVF1b05BazgyUlpxQT09

“Because student voice is essential.”
Middle school surveyed their students about their experiences over the last few weeks with 397 responses so far!  Students were so thankful to have been asked and they provided invaluable details about their experiences.

Agency + creativity = exponential engagement.” (I counted the symbols as half words).
It is tradition for Middle School weeks to begin with the Monday Morning Minute, a videocast created by students!  Doing this from afar created opportunities for students to develop their ideas and find ways to continue this communication despite the challenges!  Yet another way we can engage students in authentic work and provide the stability that traditions like this gift to us.

“Household objects make it work!”
The creativity of our lower school teachers knows no bounds.  Tasked with creating asynchronous lessons, these teachers are digging deeply and designing with intention as they continue to help students develop intellectually towards benchmarks.  The clarity and numerous modalities they are able to leverage in support of learning continuity is masterful, especially as they look for numerous ways their students can use everyday objects to explore content. 

“Vulnerability in video?  On it!”
These teachers are giving of themselves in such productive and inspiring ways.  When is the last time you video-taped yourself? Talking to an invisible class? And then had to watch it?  In class after class, our lower school teachers are capturing themselves, connecting with their students who need to hear their voices and see their expressive faces to help confront their own worries about being away.  And these teachers are doing so with flair! 

“Because our students inspire us!”
The Essence Affinity Group, US young women of color, held their first Netflix Party (platform allows a group to watch a movie and chat on the side), watching The Princess and The Frog, a movie that affirmed their identities more than ten years ago. Bam! 

“Risk is finally a given.”
Taken directly from a Google Jamboard post-in during a discussion with some teachers about their current state of work.  Every new tool, every time we jump on a meet with our students, we have absolutely no idea how things may go, yet we continue to step up, we continue to dive into the unknown and manage our own emotions in service to our students. 

“Thank you for your awesomeness!” (5 words)

With gratitude, 

P.S. “Something to look forward to.”
Our A.P. Art History students have been using active study tools as they look toward the coming A.P. exam.  They are recreating a famous artwork from among those explored throughout the year. This is a great memory strategy that allows students to connect themselves emotionally to an academic piece and they will visually remember the way their friends posed, jogging memory about the original piece because of the laughter and positive emotions created! You will be asked to vote on the entries in the coming week so stay tuned!  One teaser noted below!

The Lovett School is an independent, coeducational day school where children from Kindergarten through Grade 12 find the courage to explore and the drive to discover.

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