With the global pandemic our world is facing has brought with it many new challenges both personally and for business. Doing what is right for our community is always a priority for me. Finding a way to server our community through my calling as an Educational Assistant and serve our marching arts community has been very challenging. But I am always up to a good challenge!
As an Educational Assistant during this time I have been worried a lot about the amazing students I work with and even students I don't work with. The first project I throw myself into was helping the principal with his online announcements. They have been a great way to keep our community connected. It has helped me by getting up early and getting my day started. It has been a lot of fun working with him and doing whatever I can to make them successful. He now has a website, YouTube channel, video intro and outtro, celerity shout outs and merchandise!
Then the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board started online schooling. How was I going to support the special need students with out seeing how they respond or even know what they have access to at home. This will be a HUGE challenge! Then one of the greatest teachers I have ever worked with reached out to all the EAs that support her classes. With the support of Mrs. Newberry it was time to accept the challenge. I made my students and even some students I didn't work with short little videos just to say hello and let them know I miss them and am looking forward to seeing them when this is all over. Then the next challenge was getting them to the families in a way that they could view them. By the end of the week everyone had received their videos! I also believe it or not started to made videos of me reading kids books to send to them. The major challenge here was my learning disability. It took be about 2 hours per book that I put together to make the video and record my voice reading it, but I am very happy with how it turned out. Here is one of the books I did.
The feedback from families has been inspiring and I am ready to find more ways to engage my students!
With Covid 19 the marching arts community I love and support has been totally shut down. Southern Ontario Marching Arts Collective was forced to cancel their whole season that groups have been working on since September and one group since May last year. I am working with some of my supporters behind the scenes to make next season the best we have ever had.
Impact Percussion is a youth development organization who supports kids in kinder garden and up with group drumline lessons... now all cancelled! How can we keep supporting them. Then one of our performers from Impact Entertainment set up a Zoom Jam. Thank you so much Jason for doing that and inspiring me. We spent that jam session figuring out how to make Zoom work for us. It would not be the same as face to face group lessons but it is the best we can do.
All the groups enjoyed the Zoom rehearsal and wanted more. For the younger groups we also now provide them with play along video and one private Zoom lesson a week to help keep them engaged and their development going.
Personally this has been very hard on my as I am some one who loves people, and being
isolated from them has hit me very hard. I have good days and days I struggle more than I want to. I try to keep one of my favorite quotes in mind...
I know this is going to end at some point, but I really hope it is sooner rather than later.
But it has make me appreciate things a lot more.
Like hugs from a love one,
seeing a child smile,
face to face interactions,
the kind servers at my favorite restaurants,
and being able to live the life I have chosen.