By Maridel Perdomo
During this unpredictable time, I am very proud of my staff. The WBExL team has been creating amazing online content, including videos, as a way to stay in touch with our students. However, to me, as the WBExL director, there is no technology or distancing program that can substitute for the warmth and daily feedback we get from our students.
Even though as a society and as a program we need to learn to live with the physical distance, to me, just being able to observe a student’s smile is extremely rewarding and is what makes our hard work worth it. When a WBExL student wants to come [to my work space] to say hi, maybe to have a snack or even to complain to me about something, those interactions cannot be replaced by any technology or virtual platform.
At WBExL we constantly provide opportunities for our students to develop their social and emotional skills. We provide a safe, inviting and fun place where kids are not only free to express themselves but are encouraged and supported to do just that. That is difficult to replicate if we are not physically together. I am eagerly looking forward to the day we can safely come back together.
But, for now, I hope our students are enjoying the wonderful work the WBExL staff is doing to stay in touch. I miss each one of our students and their families and I really hope each one is staying safe, healthy and positive.
A Takeaway for the Future
One take away from all of this, however, is that we might want to continue to create videos and other online learning material even when we again are able to be in the our regular space. They are another way for us to connect with students and families. We might even involve the students in creating them!