• "Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next." Gilda Radner

    Posted by Leanne Geary on 4/23/2020

    This quote pretty much sums up my teaching and family life since March 10th, when we first heard that school would be closed.  First, just three counties would close schools for two weeks, then within two days it was ALL state schools until April 24th.  And then before we could fully adjust, school was closed for the remainder of the 2020 year, and we are all waiting for any kind of normal to return. So distance learning is the new normal, and it continues to feel anything but normal.

    If my students and families are wondering what is going on with the things that I have posted, I would hope that you would email me and ask questions. What I think I am doing, and what I do, continue to change and I am the first to admit that I am very slow at this, for many reasons.  I have read a lot of feedback via professional channels and on social media, that there is a lot of uncertainty and frustration with distance learning.  Some families experience too many emails and feel overwhelmed.  Some students feel the same.  As things have changed for high schools, my own daughter, who goes to school in another District, would say that she feels frustrated and overwhelmed at times.  Then, at other times, she is fine.  And I sit in the middle of it all and try to be mindful of my students who check in every day (I know that I have probably not given you enough to do) and the students who might rarely check in at all--and I wonder how much is enough? How much is too much? I have taken classes.  I am communicating with other teachers.  I am trying to present material that can be completed flexibly.  Due dates should be a function of individual family needs.  For me, due dates have always been a function of grading and efficiency, for giving feedback while tryiing to teach in person with students daily. Due dates allow students to learn time management, when the schedule is predictable.  Now, everything has changed, and I have no way of knowing what the family schedules or issues are that my students are dealing with.  My students are eleven and twelve, and were just learning how to do middle school this year.  I think what Kevin Allen, our principal, sent out to families this week is wise and compassionate, so I am piggy backing on that with my blog post today.  I hope you all are "....taking the moment and making the best of it." And I promise that I will continue to do the same and that I will try to do better. Take care.

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  • Look for the Humor

    Posted by Leanne Geary on 4/1/2020 9:00:00 AM

    Copied from Calm Daily Mindfulness posting for April 1, 2020 (April Fools Day):

    "Look for the humor in a frustrating situation or connect with someone who makes you laugh. Notice how laughter impacts your mood."

    I know that we are experiencing life in a way that we never have before.  I hope you all are okay and that you are finding ways to find some peace and laughter every day, even when it seems hard or difficult to do.  If it was always easy, then maybe we stop seeing the value in the endeavor. Keep trying. Don't give up.

    I continue to add things in Google Classroom, in the stream and classroom features.  I try to update my Webpage calendar when I add something new and to show what is available every day. I will continue to post Daiy Brain Teasers during "Spring Break" but won't add any additional content until April 13th.  I will respond to email and student comments in Google classroom during that time as well.  Personally, I respect anyone's need to step away for "Spring Break"--it's valid--and I am choosing to be available, on a limited basis, because that is what is important to me. 

    Find something that makes you laugh every day & I will update my blog after April 13th.  Be well. Take care.

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  • "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." Confucius

    Posted by Leanne Geary on 3/20/2020 6:00:00 AM

    I have been reminded this week about what it is like to try to get better at something that scares you.  For me, that is the overwhelming amount of technology that is meant to be a useful tool, but often changes so fast that I simply haven't always been able to keep up quickly. Life gets in the way.  So if any of my students ever read this, just know that it is okay to get frustrated.  It is okay to think that you are never going to be able to do something.  And most importantly, it is okay to not give up.

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