Reopening: Moving Toward More Equitable Schools

Affirmations and Celebrations

Part of the Virtual Crew Collection

Created By

EL Education

In planning and facilitating virtual crew, the goal is to nurture the sense of belonging, purpose, and agency that students need during this time by making space for them to:

  • process their emotions
  • connect with, care for, and find moments of joy and fun with each other
  • learn, talk, and think critically about the times that we’re in 
  • advocate and develop skills for themselves and others as virtual learners
  • take actions, however big or small, to better themselves, their families, and community.

Affirmations and celebrations can come in many forms, and can be a beautiful way for students and staff to connect with and care for each other, and take actions that better their communities. 

Person-to-Person

An example of a person-to-person affirmation and celebration comes from a series of Crew lessons from Karmela Herrera Billones of NYC Outward Bound Schools (see Google Doc version here). 

Interview a Crew Member  

Learning Target:  I can deepen my relationship with another member of my Crew.

Overview of the Activity: Although social distancing requires us to be physically distant from one another, it doesn’t mean we have to be isolated or emotionally distant or isolated. We can take this time to connect with one another on a deeper level.  

  1. Crew Advisor chooses pairs/trios randomly.
  2. Students will choose 4 questions for their interview, a mix of silly and meaningful.  
  3. Interviewees will answer 2 or more questions and can decline to answer any of the questions, so be prepared with at least 4. 
  4. Connect via Google Hangout/Meet, FaceTime, phone, email, or a social media platform 
  5. Share

Resources 

  • Possible questions on these sites: site 1, site 2, or below:
  • What is the story of your name?
  • What is your favorite holiday tradition?
  • What is a passion or curiosity you have?
  • What is a talent or skill you have or admire?
  • What motivates you?
  • What is a professional ambition you have?
  • What is a hobby or habit you want to use or develop more?

Questions

  • Discussion: Share one new piece of information that surprised you and/or gave you better insight into who your interviewee is as a person. Make sure your interviewee is okay with you sharing that piece of information with the whole group.
  • Debrief: How did it feel to connect with someone you usually don’t spend a lot of time with? How did it feel to share information about your life? 
  • Choose someone else in your life you’d like to strengthen your relationship with and use the same process.

Notes

  • Decide if interviews will take place during crew or after
  • Brainstorm expectations for interview, eg.
  • Thank each other
  • Practice active listening
  • Verify your takeaways eg. “say backs” 
  • 2-day lesson (set up and share) 

Modification

Use the same questions for everyone and graph the data. Then, discuss similarities, differences, and opportunities 

Created By

EL Education

In planning and facilitating virtual crew, the goal is to nurture the sense of belonging, purpose, and agency that students need during this time by making space for them to:

  • process their emotions
  • connect with, care for, and find moments of joy and fun with each other
  • learn, talk, and think critically about the times that we’re in 
  • advocate and develop skills for themselves and others as virtual learners
  • take actions, however big or small, to better themselves, their families, and community.

Affirmations and celebrations can come in many forms, and can be a beautiful way for students and staff to connect with and care for each other, and take actions that better their communities. 

Person-to-Person

An example of a person-to-person affirmation and celebration comes from a series of Crew lessons from Karmela Herrera Billones of NYC Outward Bound Schools (see Google Doc version here). 

Interview a Crew Member  

Learning Target:  I can deepen my relationship with another member of my Crew.

Overview of the Activity: Although social distancing requires us to be physically distant from one another, it doesn’t mean we have to be isolated or emotionally distant or isolated. We can take this time to connect with one another on a deeper level.  

  1. Crew Advisor chooses pairs/trios randomly.
  2. Students will choose 4 questions for their interview, a mix of silly and meaningful.  
  3. Interviewees will answer 2 or more questions and can decline to answer any of the questions, so be prepared with at least 4. 
  4. Connect via Google Hangout/Meet, FaceTime, phone, email, or a social media platform 
  5. Share

Resources 

  • Possible questions on these sites: site 1, site 2, or below:
  • What is the story of your name?
  • What is your favorite holiday tradition?
  • What is a passion or curiosity you have?
  • What is a talent or skill you have or admire?
  • What motivates you?
  • What is a professional ambition you have?
  • What is a hobby or habit you want to use or develop more?

Questions

  • Discussion: Share one new piece of information that surprised you and/or gave you better insight into who your interviewee is as a person. Make sure your interviewee is okay with you sharing that piece of information with the whole group.
  • Debrief: How did it feel to connect with someone you usually don’t spend a lot of time with? How did it feel to share information about your life? 
  • Choose someone else in your life you’d like to strengthen your relationship with and use the same process.

Notes

  • Decide if interviews will take place during crew or after
  • Brainstorm expectations for interview, eg.
  • Thank each other
  • Practice active listening
  • Verify your takeaways eg. “say backs” 
  • 2-day lesson (set up and share) 

Modification

Use the same questions for everyone and graph the data. Then, discuss similarities, differences, and opportunities 

Community-Wide

Including shout-outs or public appreciations as part of virtual crew meetings or virtual community circles can also be a way to celebrate the how individuals are impacting each other or the school community as a whole. And, simply celebrating the fact of holding together as a community can be beautiful and powerful. 

Some examples:

Amana Academy’s Virtual Spirit Week photo album

NYC Outward Bound Schools’ Social Dispatching page and first video

Have an example to share? We are learning alongside you about what virtual crew can look like, and welcome your contributions. Use this form or email Sarah Norris at snorris@eleducation.org

And for treasure hunters out there, we are maintaining this public folder with everything we find.