Distance Learning: On the Fear of Falling Behind

“I’m tired of hearing people say that kids are falling behind. Behind what exactly? We have third graders logging into Zoom meetings, troubleshooting technology glitches, learning to communicate their needs, and adapting to a completely foreign school environment. With these life skills, I think they just might be pulling way ahead.” I’ve been thinking about […]

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Distance Learning: Spin and Steal for Social Emotional Connection

Catching up with kids after time away from school can be such a great way to learn more about their lives and deepen connections. And, this year, when teachers are being asked to blur the lines between being educators, counselors, and social workers, it’s more important than ever that we know our students as full […]

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What is a Distance Learning Coordinator, Anyway?

This is the infographic that I designed to answer the questions that my new coworkers are way too nice and welcoming to ask outloud: “Why are you here, and what do you do??” I’ve been working with my new school’s leadership team to build this role from scratch, and I’m proud and excited about what […]

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How Do We Create Equitable Virtual Learning Spaces for Students?

This week, Diversity Equity and Inclusion practitioner Erica Roth and I gave a webinar called Seen, Known, and Loved: Equitable and Inclusive Practices for Classroom Teachers K-8 through the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. We spoke to a group of educators about practices to ensure that students feel safe and valued in the classroom (through […]

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Monday Wonder: What Questions are We Asking about Online Learning?

Today, I’m wondering: Why do people ask “Can online/remote learning work for all children?” when they never asked, “Does classroom learning work for all children?” I shared this question in my Instagram stories yesterday and got so many smart and heartfelt responses that I wanted to shift the conversation here to open it up for […]

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Sarah FitzHenry, Professional Optimist

This year, for the first time in my professional life, I won’t be a school librarian. I’m starting a new role at a new school, and the change comes with a lot of feelings. I’m still working through those. (But suffice it to say, there are a lot of emojis involved.) Mr. Fitz and I […]

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The Free Tool I Won’t Teach an Online Class Without

There are approximately six zillion online tools (hey, I’m not a math teacher – it’s an approximation), and I’ve tried almost all of them. And while many of them have merit, and some have even made it into my everyday arsenal for engaging students in an online class, there’s only one that I absolutely won’t teach an online class without.

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Creating a Book Soundtrack with Middle Schoolers

7th and 8th grade digital book club is 2/3 of the way through The Honest Truth, a novel by Dan Gemeinhart. Last week, I wrote about one of the ways that we’re exploring identity and privilege through the novel (you can read about that here). This week, we’re taking a new angle to make a […]

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