June 4, 2020 Connecting and Innovating in Times of Uncertainty

 

I have been fortunate to share Mind the Making with many organizations and groups in a face to face format, but due to today’s circumstances, I was tasked with the challenge of facilitating Mind in the Making virtually. Although I use technology daily for a multitude of reasons, I was uncertain about taking on this challenge. After a brief pause to reflect on the uncertainty we are all facing, I realized now is the time to connect with others. I decided to embrace this innovative way of facilitating and engaging.

It was clear from the introduction lesson this group of early childhood educators and leaders were knowledgeable and passionate about working with children and their families. They shared examples of ways they use the seven essential life skills, even in times of uncertainty and challenges. Many shared the possibilities of using activities to promote the essential life skills with the children they serve virtually.

Everyone shared stories of trials and triumphs in and out of the classroom relating to what we were learning and how developing these skills is a never-ending process. They shared ways they are connecting, collaborating, and caring for children and their families and have discovered the more we develop the essential life skills as adults, the more we can positively affect the world in which we live.

There were countless moments of discovery that benefited us all. During an activity, it was revealed that many of the women in the group could speak more than one language. These languages included Mandarin, Irish, Hebrew, Polish, German, and French. In another activity, the group discovered 30 different ways to use a tin can. It became clear this group was full of experience, knowledge, and creativity.

One of the participants in early childhood leadership commented, “being a part of this Mind in the Making group has helped me learn about myself, connect with others, and improve my leadership skills.”

After the four weeks of evening zoom meetings ended, I realized the benefits of gathering, learning together, and sharing our genuine thoughts and feelings during this time of uncertainty. It became clear this group established “connective tissue.”