Social Interaction

By Dr. Terry Macaluso, Head of School

This morning we hosted our second parent grade level coffee of the third trimester.  All grades are scheduled before the end of the school year.  In the category of “silver linings,” there were more parents involved in each of our sessions this week than have previously been able to participate.  In many respects, we’re all captive audiences—but nobody HAS to sign in.

In both parent sessions, we learned some things that, we believe, are true to some degree for all grades:

  1. Missing friends and social interaction is really difficult to manage.
  2. Classes online are different from what we’re used to and there is concern that content will be omitted.

Social Interaction There’s no replacement for human interaction.  And to make it worse, the only ways we can really give our students (or ourselves) a “dose of human companionship” is to ask them to spend more time on a screen.  Double-edged sword.  One suggestion was that kids might find ways to play music or to make art together—by working independently and then connecting by phone (another screen) to experience the “whole.”  While it doesn’t replace time with friends, learning to do something new has promise as a vehicle for creating engagement.  Play a musical instrument.  Create art.  Write a letter to a friend.  It’s personally and aesthetically satisfying to use a nice pen on good paper.  Feeling the letters flow is almost as fun as getting a letter in the mail.  I’m not entirely certain that our kids are aware of that ancient method of communication. Might be fun to try it.  I hasten to add that if you’ve discovered something that worked—and that your children really enjoyed—share it with us and we’ll get it out to everyone.

Class Content It’s easy to assume that less time means less content.  In fact it’s true.  But the notion that education is quantifiable is not something about which all reasonable people agree.  We don’t think about this in terms of quantity. We’re reviewing our own curricula, communicating with our discipline groups, and selecting the essential components of the program to assure continuity of the curriculum going forward.  It’s also true that this experience is being shared by everyone on the planet—so the impact is similarly experienced by everyone.

Check your email for the invitations to join the remaining parent grade-level coffees. [Schedule is below.] It’s a great opportunity to see friends and other familiar faces.  It’s surprising how much consolation it brings just to remember that we’re all still out here!

Date Time   Grade
April 17 11 AM to 12 PM    5th grade
April 23 8 AM to 9 AM    9th grade
April 24 11 AM to 12 PM    6th grade
April 28 8 AM to 9 AM   12th grade
April 29 8 AM to 9 AM    8th grade
May 4 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM   11th grade
May 5 8 AM to 9 AM    7th grade
May 8 8 AM to 9 AM   10th grade

-Taken from the April 23, 2020 Community Briefing