This is my first blog so its going to be lengthy, I promise I will learn to shorten them and be more to the point!
Hi, my name is Adrea I have lived in Ellensburg for 25+ years, I am married to Ryan and have a 5 year old daughter Lenét, I own dirt here (big smile). 2020 has been a crazy year and many of you might not even recognize me… I had two family members get diagnosed with breast cancer this year and so when chemo started, we all got together and buzzed off our hair to walk through this with my mom and my sister. Add the pandemic to this upheaval. Around the same time in June I had a friend reach out to me and ask me if I could help her children while they were on virtual learning. My first response was nope but a seed was planted and I started to dream about it. This led to research on the benefits of children working together, and the accountability of having a schedule and the known difficulties and benefits of virtual learning.
Learning POD is Born So, while on a camping trip in August my husband agreed to help me remodel the basement and we started our Learning POD. In the brainstorming stage we imagined that it would be for 4 hours a day because we did not want to have the kids on the computer for longer than that. As the Ellensburg School Board zoom meetings started and we had an open house for the students who had signed up I realized that we were going to need to be a full school day… This has been a blast. With all the different grade schedules and multiple districts (Cle Elum/Roslyn and Ellensburg) we have been able to have a designated schedule to include inside and outside activities. Fast forward a few months from fulltime virtual, where I saw the kids every day and now on Hybrid A & B schedules. We have begun a two-three-day attendance week. When setting up I chose 10 kids as my maximum because of the range of grades that I had sign up and I felt like it was our governors’ magic number as he opened us back up. As a coach I wanted to be able to offer my time to each student and more students than that, I felt I was not going to be beneficial to the individual.
Getting to Know the Districts and Families Like I said earlier… I have had a blast! I have loved getting to know the teachers through email and supporting their classroom protocols as well and sending them celebration moments for the kids… I love the part where we have peer help, social growth, brain breaks that lead to full on belly laughs, lots of time outside where we solve problems and probably most of all I love the part where I get to share my love of creating things with the students. A lot of this ‘creating’ comes into play in spontaneous supplementation of their lessons… magnets have been great fun, so was the owl pellet lab, and lots of math… but most of all the creating that takes place when we have craft afternoons and everybody works so hard to be able to be in the craft room and create something and try something new. As I blog, I would love to share with you our struggles and celebrations as we walked through this online learning platform & POD Coaching.