Dear parents, friends and families,
We are recognising that the longer we are at home there are things that we are missing, and this is true for all of us, parents, teachers, students, non-teaching staff and leadership alike, we are all having to rethink what is important in our lives what do we truly need as opposed to what we want. This can only be good a good thing as we think about 'essential' items in our lives. More families are recycling, upcycling, reducing and reusing; we are starting to realise that it makes sense to be mindful of our resources, which can only be a good thing.
We know that our teachers and their co-teachers are extremely busy every day. Our teachers are not only researching and posting weekly assignments but they meet with other, in their Grade levels on a daily basis. Collaboration between teachers has always been evident in our school but now teachers are telling me that their meetings are much more effective and efficient. Our teachers are also giving feedback to students individually on a day to day basis, they have meetings with the PYP Coordinator once a week, they have been involved in Virtual Care Calls and will be involved in 3WayConferences, report writing and 'live-teaching sessions.' Some Grade levels have initiated 'new' systems in their Grade levels, from Nursery using a Green screen to go on a field trip to the bus depo to grade 3 virtual cafe sessions, to Grade 5 students taking part in our first PYPVirtualX and playing the part of panelists with a group of adult experts.
Our Single Subject teachers are launching live sessions this week and have also been busy with meetings. The Drama and music team are putting something together for the Early Years and for our Grade 5 students. There is so much happening in these last few weeks.
Our parents have also been undoubtedly busy teaching, trying to run households, shopping, cooking, looking after family member, cleaning (which my friends in the UK find quite amusing that we are missing our house help) and some parents are working themselves. It is safe to say that this pandemic has made us even more busy than before!
The Pedagogical Leadership team have been busy too, as you know Ms Nik and Ms Kristen are working from different countries and both of them are parents. As a leadership team, we have tried to be as involved as we can and not just problem solving or holding the fort.
The leadership team have daily meetings with teachers, we are involved in senior leadership meetings, we are also researching about the possibilities for next year and taking part in many webinars to find out international perspective of schools. I continue to look at all the regular, normal school happenings at this time of year; staff appraisals, staff allocations for next year, orders and meetings with the Senior Leadership Team.
On a student level, I meet with Grade 4 students once a week for a check in, to see how they are doing and to implement some of their ideas to make learning better for them. I am also leading and guiding a PYPX group, which I am very excited about; we are investigating the topic of well-being. I will also join the Early Years live-singalong sessions, which I can't wait for! I meet regularly with our Primary Student Council to discuss 'Take Care Tuesdays' and a culminating week of celebrations, which we are hoping to focus on appreciation for our teachers. The Leadership team have also set up a 'readaloud' channel, giving children some time to watch people they know, listen to stories they may not know.
Ms. Kristen has been busy too, here's what Ms Kristen has to say.......
"I've been busy helping to make sure that things are running smoothly for OIS JVLR Distant Learning. This means meeting with teachers of homeroom teams to ensure that education is happening in the best way possible and that it's as aligned with the PYP framework as possible. We are working together to provide students with engaging learning experiences that help them build skills and learning dispositions and gain content knowledge. I continue to coordinate planning, reports, conferences and critical feedback and make sure that documents are in order. In addition, I've been helping get our first PYP Exhibition for grade 5 running smoothly. We've quickly had to transition to a virtual Exhibition, and I've helped put together organization, timeline, information videos and am mentoring a group of grade 5 students several times a week. The students and I have had fun meeting and discussing the current situation and finding some positive ways to help out.
And I've enjoyed doing read alouds--on videos--for OISJVLR students and receiving feedback from them on how they've enjoyed the read alouds. Next up is some poetry!
The time difference has been challenging (I'm in the US) but talking with the kids, teachers, Ms Lisa and Ms Nik and keeping OISJVLR running smoothly has been a great joy during this time."
And Ms Nik......"My role has changed a lot since we left the building and it is continually adapting. It is keeping me on my toes. I am in the UK at the moment so I get up really early to have meetings at Mumbai time. I am working a lot with our single subject team who have been trying to plan live sessions, fun tasks and interactive learning. I am spending a lot of time on Google Meet in virtual meetings with teams and individuals. In the last few weeks I have been working with the Grade 5 students, I have 4 meetings a week with my PYPx groups; they are researching how Coronovirus has changed technology and the environment. I have also joined in Morning Meetings and live lessons with different classes. We are still looking towards the future and I am having online interactions with families who are in Mumbai and around the world, that would like to join our school. The pedagogical leaders in the school are still working behind the scenes working out how the school will run and how we will move forwards. I am also talking with the Secondary Leadership Team to plan for a smooth transition for Grade 5 going to Grade 6. I’m not sure how I will need to adapt over the next few weeks as we approach the end of the school year, but I am ready for the challenge."
Thank you for your continued support,