FAR APART BUT CLOSE TOGETHER IN SPIRIT
These times we face are a challenge of courage, endurance and strength. Never before have we experienced something so strange, confusing and uncertain. As we navigate our way through unknown waters, looking at a horizon that seems to get further and further away, it’s easy to feel lost, detached and dejected.
But you are not alone. We may be all contained in our homes. We may not have seen our family and friends for weeks; a hug or even a handshake feel like customs from a human race long gone somehow. But we are all still battling through, connected and united in hearts and minds. Until we can physically return to a life filled with embrace and wonder, we are still here for you, still thinking of you and still working hard to help you learn or simply find comfort in the toughest of times.
We received a letter from a family who wanted to tell us they see Smiling as their lighthouse in the storm; a beacon of hope and a guiding light home through the worry and exhaustion. Although we may all be tired, reading this letter has given us renewed vigour to carry on and to continue the fight. Teachers love being with your children, they thrive on seeing the ‘lightbulb moment’ when a child’s curiosity is sparked. Their absence in a classroom is an ache that cannot be dulled. So until we meet again, we will continue to do our best in the digital classrooms, creating a virtual world where we can all feel safe, connected and hopeful for a new beginning.
“On Wed 22 Apr 2020 at 08:50
Hello Caterina, I know this is not an easy time so, in agreement with my sister and with the parents of the school we hold dear, we thought we would write a few lines and publish them on Smiling’s site to send you all our support. We want our message to be helpful and reach all the families loud and clear.
At this time of great discomfort and uncertainty, many families of the Primary school and Early Years feel the need to send Principal Caterina and all the Smiling school staff the solidarity and support that they undoubtedly deserve. We have witnessed how Smiling has been there for our children over the years and has taken part in many innovative projects that “WE” have had the privilege of experimenting before (and better than) many other schools.
There have been difficulties, but the school has always been able to offer a concrete answer to all our (numerous) questions, trying to maintain its high standards, which have always made it stand out. This school year will soon end in a “virtual” way and we are aware that in September yet another challenge will begin for you and for us. This will be to prepare ourselves for the safety requirements and criteria that will be necessary and mandatory to comply with, for which State help will be delayed, if any will arrive at all.
The challenge will be to work with a smile behind the masks, trying to convey an enthusiasm to learn in new ways other than those already known, like we are experiencing now. We wanted to tell you that ‘from our side’ you can clearly recognise all the on-going work that is behind the on-line schooling because, as well as the live morning lessons, there is also all the time taken by teachers to design lessons, set tasks, organize resources, etc., which continue to be effective and interesting for our children.
We have never felt abandoned, not even at the start, when the chats were filled with password issues or connection problems. Having the opportunity to interact directly every day with their teachers and classmates has become a routine that our kids have slowly, slowly built upon and are now much more autonomous and motivated in participating in the lessons. It is obvious that they miss the physical contact and making noise, as only our children know how, but these things will still be there, I hope as soon as possible, and I think they will be beautiful moments, moments for which we can and must fight for while we wait for our wonderful daily life to return.
We parents accept the challenge together with Caterina, all the teachers and the Smiling Staff to lead this battle because we believe in the global educational project that we have chosen and thanks to which we can appreciate the high level of education of our children.
Everything will be alright….. together!!!!
Family Cavicchi and many others