We have come to the end of the most interesting school year. When we left the building on March 13, we all thought that we […]
We have come to the end of the most interesting school year. When we left the building on March 13, we all thought that we would be back after Pesach. As you well know, that didn’t happen. Some of the last few months have been a blur, but the amazing preschool staff showed off their creativity and ability to step outside the box. Children were engaged, parents happy, and teachers were able to spend time with the children that they love so much.
Right away Bill agreed to continue leading our practice Shabbat each Friday morning. So many families joined in and it was wonderful to see them. By the end, the challah that Bill began with was suitable as a doorstop, but it didn’t matter. Our Shabbat time was filled with the same joyousness as when we were together in the Chapel or outside in the picnic area.
With the success of each Friday, teachers began to lead circle times for their classrooms as they sang songs, read stories, led dancing, and enjoyed hearing from all of the children. We even had a birthday celebration, and a virtual “Lunch Bunch” where children signed in to eat lunch together and chat. Teachers also started recording themselves reading stories, and leading activities that they emailed to families and I’ve heard that the children have been watching them over and over again!
As parents asked for more, each teacher took on an enrichment class and children enjoyed Storytime, Art, Cooking, Dance & Yoga, Bingo games, Dress-up Fun, Science, and Scavenger Hunts. We all had a great time along with the children.
We had a movie night! Messages from all the preschool staff, Rabbi Ezray, and Bill, plus photos from the beginning of the school year, and snippets of zoom meetings brought smiles to everyone’s faces. The preschool staff, and Bill, had a little fun with zoom as they sang and danced to If You’re Happy and You Know It, and Let it Go! There was so much fun and laughter.
We were worried, when we knew that we would be at home for a long time, that we would lose our connection with the children and their families. We weren’t sure how to use Zoom and how we could make it personal. We were worried about what we were asking of parents. When all was said and done the relationships within the school are still strong and children, their parents, and teachers are excited to come back to school in the fall.
I would like to publicly thank Jane Breault, Lauri Flaxman, Julie Kantor, Masha Kurylenko, Natalya Martyushova, Julia Massa, and Dave Mueller for all of their hard work, dedication, and passion for teaching small humans.