During this extraordinary time when New York City’s educators are working closely with students and families from the confines of their homes, we will be publishing a series of posts describing their experiences in their own words. We are now #DOEconnected!
Follow our hashtag, #DOEconnected, join the conversation, and connect online with your neighbors across the City. Share stories of how you, your child, a teacher, or a school community member has become your hero. Remember, not all heroes wear capes.
Jeremy Daniel, principal of Brighter Choice Community School in Brooklyn
At Brighter Choice Community School, “livestream meet-ups and mini-lessons” close the distance to keep students virtually engaged throughout the week.
It can be hard for students and teachers to keep the classroom connection going across the distance over hours, days, weeks, months—especially when the “connection” is virtual, not personal, and oftentimes, even unstable!
With a little help from the community, Principal Daniel and his staff members at Brighter Choice Community School have successfully integrated their school partnerships into vibrant online learning opportunities. Most days of the week are filled with such partnerships—students tune into livestreams of African dance and drumming with Ifetayo on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Fridays are “Flamenco Fridays” with Vivo Flamenco Carlota Santana in which a live flamenco instructor demonstrates how to dance and clap to the beat to perform this traditional Spanish art!
Through a collaboration with Trail Blazers, an afterschool program, Brighter Choice Community School has created “virtual camps and recesses” for students in 3-K and pre-k. The virtual camps include a wide variety of activities such as dendrochronology—the study of tree rings—and indoor gardening. His vision is to “include as many of our partnerships as possible in order to create dynamic interactions on Google Classroom.”
The Brighter Choice community has also found ways for staff to stay connected via Google Meet. Principal Daniel shares that they first had to “establish virtual meeting norms,” and once they became fluent in the technology and norms, they began to focus on sharing best practices. He is positive that the key benefit of these meetings is “providing social and emotional support for adults,” through shout-outs and daily check-ins where everyone shares how they are managing during the crisis. “We have learned so much about each other through this process!”
“I’m incredibly humbled and proud of our staff and the way in which they have stepped up for our students in these challenging times.”
Jeremy Daniel is emblematic of how New York City’s educators are adapting to these unprecedented times on behalf of our students and families. We thank our educators for helping all of us stay #DOEconnected.
Looking for additional resources to help you navigate Google Classroom? Check out our “Getting Started in Google Classroom” webpage on the DOE’s Learn at Home portal.
Moreover, Google’s YouTube Learning has created a “Learn@Home” landing page for families who are seeking to support their children’s learning at home. This page is filled with resources from a wide range of learning creators, and is updated daily. So whether you’re looking for an educator reading a children’s book aloud, or a video course for AP Spanish, check out YouTube Learning’s Learn@Home page to help supplement your child’s learning today!
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