Community Connections: Reflections and Gratitude on Week Two Home CNS

As we reflect on this week, we do so with a continued and growing sense of gratitude. 
Like all of you, in all the challenges of this time, we have been inspired by the many acts of service, sacrifice, and support. Not a moment goes by when we are not thinking of the many people who are working to care for all of us: our health, our food, our safety, and our security. 
The care that we feel from the CNS community is also serving as a wonderful bright spot. Every day, we are moved by the joy and perspective that children have offered.  The way that they embrace the connections in zoom meetings, the prompts throughout the day and individual study have been so heartwarming. 
We won't be surprised when we learn that this transformative experience and the chance to be raised during this time will mean that these children will be known as the "next greatest generation." The world is giving them a chance to show resilience, empathy, and ingenuity for all of us. As we discussed last week in our first-week reflections, they are made for this and this moment will bring out the best of what we all can be.
One of the ways that we see that best is in the high level of empathy and ingenuity in their individual investigations. In the personalized notes that go back and forth, we have been witness to a kind of creativity, collaboration, connection and reflective emergent learning that every school aspires to achieve and everyone hopes to get out of their education. 
  • For a child who shared an interest in tornados during morning meeting, a teacher sent book recommendations and an idea for how to create a volcano in a bottle. As they engaged dialogue back and forth, they also discovered ways to do a research study of vehicles that move. Imagine what they will continue to create!  
  • For a child who sent an image of her animal drawings, teachers asked them to send directions for their prototype so that they could try to recreate back and forth. Imagine what they will continue to invent! 
  • For the child who was creating a propeller for different kinds of boats, teachers encourage him to try to make models that could float. Imagine what machines they will design.
  • For the child who wanted to reach out to a friend, teachers offered ways to communicate and connect with emerging letter formation and study of mail. Imagine the dialogue and diplomacy that they will facilitate!
  • For the child who had shown an interest in costume making, the teacher provided ideas to make clothing out of what they might have at home. Imagine what good they could sew up!
For each of these children, the learning exchanges have provided the richest and most authentic opportunities to develop a mindset around problem-solving, critical thinking and innovation (or what many think of as 21st-century learning). 
Fortunately, most of the children at CNS do not know much about the problems and challenges of this virus. However, as adults, we know that many are already thinking about lessons learned. How do we act now? Where do we go from here? How do we prevent this from happening again? Last night as we listened to Bill Gates and others discuss how we can mitigate the damage and prepare for future challenges, it was clear that an education filled with the chance to foster understanding and action is a large piece of the puzzle. We need citizens who are ready to prepare for the novel mysteries. You are providing that for your children. By allowing them to engage in inquiry now you are positioning them for whatever comes their way later. With this approach, imagine how they will improve the world.
As we look ahead to next week, we are inspired by children to add more small group studies over lunch and open our individual office hours to more project shares and storytelling. We will share news and possibilities in Monday Messages. 
We know a lot has changed, and some things may not return to exactly as they were; however, we take great comfort in some constants and one of them is the magic of the learning that we enjoy with children at CNS. We do not know what the future will bring, but we do know that they will make it brighter and better. They already do. 
We hope you play in the sunshine and we cannot wait to connect next week. 
All our love, 
Cady and Kelly