Over the last couple of weeks, ConVal High School principal Heather McKillop has visited classrooms and instructional tents to hold listening sessions with students.
The motivation for the listening tour stemmed from McKillop’s interest in connecting with students. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual occasions, such as opening day gatherings, spirit rallies, and sport events, cannot be held this year,” she explained. “The split into two alternating student cohorts and the physical distancing guidelines result in vastly fewer opportunities to make personal connections with students. It is therefore all the more important to be visible outside the office and to connect with them where they experience school right now.”
In the student groups, McKillop shared her background as a teacher and administrator and invited students to share their backgrounds and experiences at ConVal as well. “I wanted to learn how they are doing with in-person and remote learning experiences,” McKillop said. “How are they handling the two modalities? What can we do to make their experience better?”
Students, for the most part, seemed to really enjoy the personal connections they are making with teachers and classmates whenever their cohort was engaged in in-person learning, McKillop noted. “I am amazed at how resilient the students are and how they are handling themselves under the circumstances.”