“Teachers were my heroes through the whole process. It was obviously a tough situation that everyone was thrown into unexpectedly, but the teachers were great about soliciting feedback and making changes as needed until they found methods that worked.”
For the mom of two Sycamore students, Sumi Maun was confronted with the challenges that many families were faced with in mid-March when schools closed their buildings and went to a distance learning model for the rest of the school year: suddenly, the kids were at home, doing their school work, while the parents were also working from home and having to figure out where everyone will do their work, how they will get fed, take breaks, and not feel like it was all too much.
“Distance learning is really a complete reconfiguration of how you teach, but not necessarily what you teach. While it is different, in no way does it have to be lesser than. Going through something like this together is something we'll never forget, and the kids' resilience, positivity, and perspectives will stay with me forever.”
In the past couple of weeks, we have highlighted a few of our Early Childhood and Lower School teachers. Today, we talk one of our Middle School teachers, Beth Simpson, who teaches Language Arts, about how she was able to incorporate group discussions of books, one-on-one time, and teach the writing of allegories from afar.
After learning she was selected to present at the upcoming Purdue University eLearning teacher training, we talked to Sycamore 3rd grade teacher Tiffany Stahl to ask her to talk about elements of teaching via distance learning, and how she changed parts of her daily interactions to better serve students and families.
I hope you are all safe and healthy! If nothing else, I believe we all have an increased appreciation for the blessing of good health during this time. We are certainly wrapping up this school year in a different way than we expected-and in a different way than we have ever done before. As we have been creating new ways of schooling during these last ten weeks, I have especially appreciated the gratitude and support you have offered to our faculty and staff and to me. I also have appreciated your heroic efforts to be part of your children's learning team in ways that you haven't done before. Thanks for your patience, your flexibility, and your perseverance.
Though this summer will look very different from summers past, Sycamore School remains committed to offering a variety of worthwhile options that provide challenge, enrichment, and fun. And so, it is with this commitment in mind that we used our knowledge of gifted students and survey data collected from our parent population to guide us in preparing a list of virtual summer programming options.
Three Sycamore Middle School students will be honored for their work in the National Scholastic Arts and Writing Contest as part of the "virtual" presentation at the national awards ceremony, on June 4 from New York City. In all, Sycamore student writers earned 28 awards at the Regional Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards, with nine pieces advancing to the national competition.