We are full of gratitude for you and your families coming out of this first week of social distancing and online learning. Rather than focusing on the content of the learning that we did, I want to reflect a little on the transition to this new normal.
Monday morning, your faithful Makom Community staff met on Zoom to figure out what to do with our programming. Over the course of a day we rejiggered and reformatted and strategized to be able to run a somewhat typical afternoon of Makom Community programming for your kiddos. Every day we met again after programming was over to reflect and iterate and improve. Monday was a little tough and chaotic. Every day has gotten better.
One part has been consistently wonderful: seeing your kiddo’s smiling faces. Personally, this week has been really hard on me. And, as has been the case during other extra tough periods in my life over the past five years, the few hours a day I spend with your kiddos have been the most joyful, grounded, and present I’m able to feel all day.
Here are a few highlights from this past week that brought me and the other Makom Community teachers particular joy:
- Instant excitement every time a new face joined the Zoom meeting.
- Incredible patience on the part of parents, caregivers, and kiddos alike (especially when the technology was slow or difficult).
- Nitzanim (2nd-4th graders) playing their board game together. Only two students had easy access to dice, so they rolled for everyone.
- New kiddos volunteering to lead parts of Tefilah: Prayer, Music, and Movement that they had maybe never led before.
- When one kid in Garinim (PreK and K) came to tefilah in a cape, we decided that everyone should wear a cape or a silly hat to tefilah that day (it’s still Adar after all).
At the end of our meeting on Monday, we asked the kiddos what they thought of doing Makom on Zoom. Here are some of their comments:
- I like seeing other people’s houses.
- This is awesome! I wish we could do it every day.
- This is really fun!
- It’s cool that I can sit wherever I want in my house to be comfy.
- This is even better than Makom in real life because every snack from your home is there.
- It’s kind of fun – like normal Makom, but without homework time.
- Today was awesome! We got to do Makom on the TV.
We’ve also been getting a ton of positive feedback from you all as parents. Thank you so much for this! We probably all feel like we’re stumbling around in the dark at least a little bit right now, and all the encouragement is helpful. Here’s some of the extremely lovely feedback you’ve sent us this week:
- I think if you keep providing this for families through this crisis you will make the best case for Makom ever.
- Did someone say challahhhhhhhhhhhh???? Cannot wait! You are doing an amazing service for our kiddos. We appreciate you!!!
- Truly, seeing the smiles on my kiddo’s face, this is the happiest he’s been all day. THANK YOU so much for offering this brief piece of “normal” during this time. <3
- I haven’t yet asked the kids how their zoom experiences went, but thank you, thank you, thank you for responding so quickly and preparing to meet online over Zoom. My co-workers and I met over Zoom for lunch today (and my kids), and it is just healthy to “be around people
- These Makom calls are a godsend.
- You all are freaking heroes, and I mean that so seriously.
You are also heroes, taking care of and entertaining your kiddos now 24/7, while hopefully also taking care of yourselves. Thank you for continuing to make Makom Community just that, a community. Please keep telling us what’s working for your family and what isn’t. We’ll keep adjusting to be the best resource for you we can be. And together we’ll make it through these weird times.