Goodness…middle school is tough! I have said for many years that I teach middle school because I never let go of my teenage angst, and this year maybe more so than ever. It is a tough year! I cannot tell you how much I want to slam my computer shut every time I have to ask a student to show their face (just for a minute), or yell into the pandemic abyss when I have to send another email or text to remind students of an assignment or to attend class. But I don’t, other teachers don’t, and even the students don’t (at least not every time). We acknowledge that this is our time to learn hard lessons.
Harmony’s Early Childhood Program scaled back from our normal enrollment of 21 kids and started a pod of six children and one teacher in an outdoor classroom set up on our little playground. ... The Elementary is off to a great start with our distance learning. At this time, all the classrooms are meeting in small groups over Zoom for their lessons, routines, and themes. Each classroom is also providing opportunities for the kids to see each other during in-person time at and away from Harmony.
The first two weeks the middle school held socially distanced classes outdoors. Our third week marked the switch to online learning. The students have all been given individualized schedules with times when they will meet with each teacher in large groups, small groups, and one-on-one when needed. . ... Perhaps the most exciting news from the high school this fall has been the departure of high school senior, Kobe Thompson, on his senior project: to swim the English Channel!
Marty was one of Harmony's first teachers. He began teaching at Harmony in 1978 as a 5th and 6th grade language arts teacher. He made the transition to middle school ten years later, where he continued to focus on language arts and social studies. Marty coordinated Harmony's yearbook every year, and says, "publishing student work has been a fundamental part of my curriculum."
We've started reaching out to past Harmony teachers as part of our efforts to build a stronger alumni network. Because our teachers are really part of that network, too. So back in August we gathered a group of past teachers together on Zoom to reflect together on what they learned from their Harmony days and to share what they are doing now. It was the first in what we hope will be a series of conversations.