Behind the Mask...Are LOTS of Smiles

Wow. I think I speak for ALL Lyme staff members when I report that we are incredibly proud of our amazing students! With all the changes that 2020 has brought, these folks, big and small, K-8, have been doing a fantastic job of being flexible and positive. 

Every two weeks, the specialists [PE, MUSIC, ART, DESIGN LAB, STANTON TIME (social emotional learning)] move from lower school up to middle school and vise versa. Since the start of school, I have had the pleasure of hanging with my wee Lymies, (old and new),  Kindergarten through 4th grade. We spent our time re-connecting, checking in on one another, and of course, playing some games! Mr. Chapin and I had the chance to co-teach a few classes which we affectionately dubbed “StanTUNE Time”... A real hit with our clientele. 

Our first and most important measure during Stanton Time is our TEMP CHECK - I know what you’re thinking, “Mrs. Stanton, my kids already got their temperature taken this morning!” Alas, an important measure to getting the hand marked for entry, but I’m talking about the holistic temperature check, the, “how ya doing, kid?” Instead of temporal thermometers, we use THUMB-o-meters. Students show with thumbs up, thumbs down, or thumbs anywhere in the middle how they are feeling today. Any thumb angle is ok because any feeling is ok. This gives us all an opportunity to check in with ourselves and each other. 

If we are feeling a certain way and we'd like to do something about it, we have options. We might just need to feel it for a bit, we might use a positive strategy to get more energy or less energy, we might need to think about something differently, or we may have a problem we need help with to make it smaller. Regardless of the next step, students taking time to check in with how they are doing is a HUGE first step in self-awareness and self-regulation/management and other CASEL Core Competencies. With students who have learned about the ZONES OF REGULATION, we have even more to chat about. 

Last week Mrs. Kris Pekala joined me in K-4 classrooms to check in and also answer any questions or wonderings students had about the changes and new safety measures at school. Our goal was to see how students were feeling with the changes, reinforce and affirm what students are already doing to keep everyone healthy (washing hands, keeping six feet apart, wearing masks, etc.) as well as normalize staying home from school if unwell, something they might have already experienced. BIG thank you to Kris for volunteering her time to support our students! 

Stanton Time usually ends with a fun game or two as play and connection are essential now more than ever. I am so happy to be back with students as we figure out this new way to teach, play, and learn with one another. Keep staying positive, healthy and taking care of each other!

With Gusto,

Mrs. Stanton