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Making Time to Connect

As humans, we seek connection with one another. At the very core of our existence, we need it.

We are all experiencing this time of great uncertainty for the first time, together. It is impacting everyone in different ways. How can we support one another when we don’t have the answers? We can listen. Listening is one of the greatest ways to show love and care for others.

With this understanding, I decided to try an experiment with my staff at Willamina MS/HS, where I have recently become the interim principal. I sent out an invite for a “Time to Connect”. I invited them to come as they are. Stay for the whole time or only part. Bring their coffee, stay in their jammies, or phone in.

What happened? People showed up. We met babies and dogs and saw where we lived. I was able to answer some questions, but most of all I just listened and we connected. At the end, I asked them how this experience felt because for some of them this was their first time on a virtual call. They loved feeling the connection with each other even though we were all looking at screens. This connection was important.

As we navigate these uncharted territories together, it is important that we find the time to connect and deeply listen to each other. For, in that listening, we will understand the challenges that we are each facing. We will also begin to understand the new possibilities that are emerging in a time that requires us to be creative in entirely new ways.


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Roger Lorenzen
Roger Lorenzen
Mar 26, 2020

As you might imagine, we do have some regular customers. I may do it by lunch period or all 3 periods together. I might begin the invite with this, "If you think you should have landed in lunch detention for any reason during the two-week break, feel free to assign yourself by joining us in a Google Hangout."

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Unknown member
Mar 26, 2020

Roger, that is a great idea! How many students are you thinking? Let us know how it goes, what you learned, and where you will go next. Every experiment informs the next!! I appreciate your courage!

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Roger Lorenzen
Roger Lorenzen
Mar 26, 2020

You have inspired a challenge within me, Jami. It's been nearly two full weeks since I've laid eyes on our high-flying lunch detention kids at CVMS and I worry about them a lot. Sooner than later I intend to do a Google Invite to them so we can meet around the noon lunch period. Not sure who will show, but at least I will see a few of them. Thinking it might be interesting to connect with them in this manner. I'll be certain to invite a staff member, or four, who usually supervise during breakfast and lunch time just so those connections can be leveraged as well. Connections, Connections, Connections..... truly matter!

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