The two floors and ten classrooms of the Junior School have a special quality about them. Their inviting, cozy nature has a way of making everyone feel a little more ‘at home’. Although we had to delay our return to our Junior School physical corridors and classrooms this week, the same supportive community feel was present as our students and teachers embarked on yet another round of distance learning.
For most of our students, the shift back online was somewhat familiar as the last two academic years were interrupted in a similar fashion. Even though we all would have preferred to be together in our physical space, to see the smiles of one another without masks was refreshing, albeit a little unfamiliar, for us all. The ease at which our students were able to shift online and continue to be thoughtful, engaged, and positive is a testament to their versatility as learners.
During the week, our students were able to connect with their teachers and classmates through a variety of online platforms. Whether it be meeting together on Microsoft Teams, exploring a virtual model of KES on the interactive virtual space Gather, responding to one another’s ideas in video form through the video interface of Flipgrid, or collaborating via shared documents and breakout rooms, the week was a productive one! Another hidden advantage of our week online was that although our selfless leader and true catalyst within the Junior School, Mrs. Taya Shields, was unable to join her classes online as she was recovering from an injury sustained over the holidays, her Grade 9 math students were still able to learn from her expertise through the wonders of interactive whiteboards and recorded video lessons! Holding down the fort on campus, our junior boarders were lucky to get to burn off some energy most afternoons in the Ted Canavan Athletic Centre under the watchful eye of the exuberant Mr. Baumann.
While there is no doubt that we are all looking forward to getting back together in a physical space soon, our online start to 2022 is one that has us set off in the right direction for the second term.