The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, is attributed with the saying “change is the only constant in life.” While changes are almost always constant, particularly in this year, there are two other constants within our school: creativity and curiosity.

Health and safety guidelines and routines keep our students and staff safely spaced throughout their day at Georgia Middle School. Some may believe that this social distancing would prove to be prohibitive to our students being able to work and learn together. However, the combination of the creativity of our teachers, the caring of all our professional staff, and the ongoing curiosity of all our students has been a constant observation in our hallways, outside spaces, and in our classrooms. 

One of the areas that has been most greatly affected by the state safety guidelines is our music department. However, Mr. Gribnau has been both creative and flexible in providing ongoing music instruction to our students this fall. Our 5th and 6th grade students have been studying drumming and have become quite proficient in their efforts, as seen in the video below. Likewise, Mr. Gribnau fills much of his day in providing online instruction to small groups or individuals to support their growth in their instruments. 

Full video available here.

Our student’s curiosity and collective collaboration can be seen in many of our classrooms. A recent collaboration between our long-term substitute art teacher, Kait Jewett and math teacher, Mr. Coppenrath had students working to create collaborative art installation for our hallway blending the application of both their mathematical scale knowledge and artistic talents with a paint brush.

Above all, our students’ curiosity and exploration of new learning continues to be found. Our 7th grade students in Ms. Indiano’s science class recently were exploring cells under a microscope and using their iPads to capture the images that they were discovering.

Some students explored this with physical microscopes, while others were exploring the same ideas virtually through an interactive app on their iPads. The room was buzzing with excitement and discovery of the microscopic world and students were able to share their images and learn with each other from a safe distance.

Our school community definitely looks differently in our day to day operations than it has in the past. However, it is so fulfilling to see that our exceptional teachers and staff continue to be both caring and creative in finding ways to consistently spark and foster the curiosity of our students. Likewise, it is fulfilling to see the pride and excitement our students have for both the community in which they learn in as well as their new understandings of the world around them through their discovery and learning.

Julie Conrad is currently Principal of Georgia Middle School and is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow her on Twitter @JulieConradVT

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