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Finding Comfort in the Familiar

There’s comfort in the familiar: familiar faces, familiar places, familiar experiences. The challenge to find familiar during this period of unexpected unfamiliar led us to, of all places, our camera rolls. Yes, that’s right. Our gallery of pictures featuring the faces of our students, our classroom walls, our hallways, our colleagues, our students’ work- it brought instantaneous comfort. We wanted to bring that same comfort to our students.

You know how the saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. A picture of an experience you shared with your classmates? Priceless, especially now. It’s an instant reminder of what you’ve done, what you already know how to do, inspiration for something you can recreate or talk about at home with your caregivers and siblings.

As a staff, we created a virtual scrapbook to share on our school’s social media platforms. To encourage additional engagement, we added some related possibilities. We hoped that as students spotted familiar, they too would remember the experience and transfer learning right into their homes. More of the familiar, more comfort, more transfer.

Are you craving comfort from the familiar too? Then go for it. It’s as simple as this. Scroll, smile, and suggest. Scroll through your camera roll on your phone. Search for pictures of your classroom, your students, their work, experiences you’ve shared. We know you have them-every teacher does! Smile at the memories. Suggest some ideas. Voila! virtual scrapbook that leads to more shared stories. Comfort for you and your students.

Elaine Shobert is a literacy coach at Rock Rest Elementary in Monroe, North Carolina and a member of The Coaching Co-Op.