The Extraordinary Creativity of WES Teachers During a Pandemic

As Plato once said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” And there is nothing like a global pandemic to spark innovation. As I look around campus and drop in various classes via Zoom, I am continuously impressed by the extraordinary ingenuity of our faculty members. During the past several weeks, our Early Childhood teachers have taught face-to-face under a brand new set of health and safety protocols, others have been busy teaching virtually, and a handful of our faculty have been doing both at the same time! Their love of teaching and their care for their students drives them to provide the richest and most meaningful learning experience they can.

Our Pre-K teachers have been busy creating an inclusive community for their at-home and on-site learners. Their goal has been to show the children that no matter where a student is, they can all be together. At-home learners are broadcast on a large television screen so their classmates will feel their presence. An iPad is used to enable on-site learners to talk and play with virtual learners directly over Zoom. 

It’s obviously a challenge to teach an incredibly hands-on class, such as art, virtually. However, our art faculty have risen to the challenge with all the creativity you would expect from, well, artists. Using a document camera and multiple computer screens dedicated to slides and the Zoom classroom, our faculty are teaching drawing step by step, just as they would in person. Our Middle School students are in the process of creating their first art portfolio via Google Drive, so they should have some wonderful projects to show you. 

In their quest to create engaging lesson plans that were fun, vigorous, and didn’t involve the use of hands, our PE faculty created a ninja warrior course this week. On-site students were busy jumping on different levels of mats, trying to maintain their balance on poly spots, army crawling through parachutes, jumping through tires, walking a balance beam, and then starting all over again! The children even requested to be timed in future classes. Virtual learners were encouraged to create their own ninja course at home. For those who were unable to do so, they asked the students to draw what their ideal course would look like and the teachers will try to incorporate some of their suggestions in the next rendition of the WES Ninja Warrior Course. 

These are just a few examples of the wonderful and engaging learning that has been taking place this week. Although so much of the future is unknown right now, I am certain of one thing: that our teachers will continue to impress us and our students will continue to thrive. 

Danny Vogelman

Head of School