From the Eagle’s Nest

Screenshot from a weekly Zoom meeting between teachers and faculty; staff meetings at the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy (SUIMA) took on a different look for the last two months of 2019-2020 school year.
Dannielle Burns | SUIMA

Job well done!

As the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy (SUIMA) has remained closed since March 18, which included their spring break, teachers and guides had to be creative to keep students engaged and learning.

After spring break, the task of remote learning began. Questions and concerns about whether families had the right electronic devices arose, as did “Will the internet be strong enough?” Teachers who were tech-savvy helped the teachers who were not.  Communication with parents took on a whole new meaning as it was occurring daily. For students who didn’t have computers or internet, home-learning packets were developed. With that, came the issue of how to stay safe so that work could be pick up and dropped off.

Thank goodness for SUIMA’s Little Free Library, which was built by three past SUIMA students who are graduating Seniors this year.  The L.F. Library became the hub of the home learning packet hot spot.  With a no one-size-fits-all solution, SUIMA had to make sure the education and learning of all students continued. 

The infants and toddlers were sent suggestions to go for an exploratory walk or to use specific types of toys in a big bucket of soapy water for a sensorial lesson; the pre-K students were given scavenger hunt ideas as they looked for different shapes in their homes; the Kindergarteners enjoyed virtual word building activities; and the elementary students worked with their online school programs and were given math, language, science, and geography lessons individually, in small groups or in whole class virtual meetings.

There was frustration on the side of the parents for instantly becoming the teachers.  There was disappointment on the side of the teachers for not feeling like they were doing enough.

There was sadness in the students for not being able to be with their classmates. Throughout this time of COVID-19, there were tears, exhaustion, support and laughter.

Along with all the schools in our area, SUIMA has pulled through. Summer break is officially starting, and the students can now just be kids, the parents can now just be parents, and the teachers can now step back and say, “Job well done.”

This is the last article from the Eagle’s Nest for this school year 2019-2020.  We will return in the fall.  In the meantime – be strong like an EAGLE, open your wings, and fly to places unimaginable.

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