Rebecca Still, Community Learning Network
I am amazed at the innovative and creative ways CALP staff have found to connect with learners, from the basics of mailing or dropping off resources followed up with a phone call, to using the various online platforms/apps and videos.
This has not been an easy journey as you learned how to navigate various platforms and devices, worked out ways to connect with learners, taught basic navigation skills remotely, and prepared lesson material for delivery in a different format.
You balanced home life with either family, children, partners or pets, with your commitment to reaching learners and connecting with others in your organization. Some of you may have even experienced layoffs in your home and the attendant financial worries that brings.
A number of you have balanced your work with learners against your work as a teacher for your children, as either a parent, grandparent or caregiver.
All the while, you took time to increase your own learning through reading, google searches and registering for many webinars and trainings. You attended online meetings, online webinars, online training, and online delivery to learners to the point of experiencing online fatigue.
You exhibited patience with yourself, as you figured out how to connect with learners with an App or platform you had no previous experience using. You learned to slow down the learning and practiced giving small bits and bytes to learners.
You took risks in putting yourself on video and sharing your less than polished performance. You put aside your desire to ‘get the video perfect’ or the ‘meeting’ perfect and instead, focused on how to support learners during this time.
You practiced persistence in not giving up on learners and continued to make the effort to reach out and connect with them whether by text, email, phone or mail. You recognized the value and importance of staying in touch; even if it was just to hold space for them as they shared their challenges brought on by the pandemic.
You learned new ways to do things and discovered skills you did not realize you had. You learned to think outside of the box and create new pathways to learning. Your creative juices, maybe latent at one time came to the forefront as you found solutions to problems and challenges in your work.
Along the way, you discovered some of these new solutions have value that you will carry forward into the coming years. Your persistence and creativity has forever changed the way CALP organizations will operate going forward.
Your dedication to your work is inspiring. Whether you were able to shift quickly or if it took a while to figure out the best process to work with learners, my hat is off to you - our CALP Heroes!
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