Giving Compass' Take:

• Malika Ali offers four considerations for focusing on relationships to create a more resilient, opportunistic distance learning environment.

• Why is it important to focus on student and family relationships for meaningful distance learning? How can you work to support agendas that address well-being in education during the crisis?

• Find resources to guide your giving towards distance learning or other vital coronavirus response efforts.

Every crisis is different, yet trauma forces us to learn the practice of healing and persevering for the sake of growth. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, communities all over the world are calling upon their own traditions to heal bodies, minds and hearts. As we honor the individuals who are leading communities through this pandemic, our educators, who are navigating uncharted terrain in the form of distance learning, deserve our deep gratitude. With little time to prepare, they are managing the physical, psychological and intellectual needs of their students remotely. And this shift is overwhelming.

Through the confusion and chaos, we must resist the urge to accumulate resources, just as we do toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and to jump right into content and tasks without first addressing the ways in which the pandemic directly affects students and families.

While no plan will be perfect, all must have a North Star, a foundational belief that guides the way. At Highlander Institute, our North Star is the belief that meaningful learning grounded in relationships can heal communities, especially in times of crisis. We believe we have an opportunity to inspire hope and empowerment through the four considerations displayed below.

Consideration 1: Connections with families around safety and well-being

How are you reaching out to all families to understand their current conditions and needs?

Considerations 2 and 3: Ongoing communication with families and students

How are you communicating with families and students in a way that facilitates relationship building?

Consideration 4: Meaningful learning

How are you thinking differently about the kinds of learning experiences students are engaging with?

As you contemplate each of these considerations, root yourself in your own North Star to determine what meaningful benefits can emerge from this experience.

Read the full article about distance learning by Malika Ali at The 74.