Our Students as Teachers

By Joe Mueller

FSMN Head of School

It is so good to have students learning with FSMN again. They are the best teachers. They could teach a master class in resilience.

Throughout the summer, as we planned and replanned, and then planned again, we grappled with all sorts of questions. We came up with all sorts of answers, but most were only hypothetical. The first four days of school brought the real answers. Below is just a small sample of what I have witnessed in the homes and classrooms where our students are learning.

As part of our planning, we asked…
Can children really wear masks the entire time they are in the building?

When school started, students answered…
Sure. No problem.

Can we really ask students to use different bathrooms than they are used to using?

Students answered: It’s fine. Just show me which one is ours.

Can we really make all of the bathrooms all gender so each student grouping can have their own bathroom?

Students answered: Of course! Why weren’t they always all gender? 

Can students feel included in the classroom when learning from home?

Students answered: Yes, but you need to make sure I can see and hear what is going on.

Can we really expect students to shift gears quickly when the inevitable technical difficulties disrupt our best laid plans?

Students answered: Absolutely! What are we doing until this gets fixed?

The students in the FSMN learning community, regardless of their locations, have modeled a depth of resilience that will serve them well, through the end of these difficult times and beyond. They will carry this resilience with them into whatever the future holds. 

We can learn from their example. Children are great teachers. We just need to pay attention and listen. We too can be patient, compassionate, and adaptable as we move through this present moment together.

We just need to stay attuned to the learning opportunities they constantly present to us.

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