World of Learning Institute Podcast and Newsletter
We Do This Everyday!
Novel Connections to Learners' and Learning

Novel Connections to Learners' and Learning

We Do this Every Day, Season 3 #68

Greetings WOL Friends,

Spring is in full bloom for most of us now. I have enjoyed getting ready for this year’s garden the past few days - spreading wildflower seeds, cleaning up the vegetable beds, and trimming back last year’s remains. The cycle of the seasons reminds me of the importance of the different phases of a year and the abundance of each. I am grateful for sharing the cycle of a school year with you, too! The excitement of the new, the rhythm of teaching and learning, the celebration of the successes, and the planning for what we can improve.

dandelion flower field
Photo by Uwe Conrad on Unsplash

In this week’s episode, Lauren thought we it would be fun to talk about one of our common interests outside of our work - reading novels. If you have listened in previously we have talked about a variety of books and cookbooks that inspire and help us to be more empathetic. 

So, as we dove into one of our new favorite reads Demon Copperhead, we recognized that Barbara Kingsolver was inspired by the book David Copperfield. Copperfield begins with the epigraph “It’s in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present.”  As we thought of the book and pondered our educational spaces - we saw so many connections from the classic David Copperfield by Charles Dickens - updated by Kingsolver - from the setting in Victorian England to present-day Appalachia amid an opioid epidemic.

“It’s in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present.”

One of the significant happenings in the book that we discussed is a social studies teacher who recognizes and nurtures the protagonist Damon's, nicknamed "Demon," potential despite his difficult circumstances. Often, a teacher or other adult in a child’s life can see the bright spots. In this case, the Social Studies teacher and his wife, an Art Teacher, nurture Damon’s talents and acknowledge his resilience. Their caring significantly impacts Damon, long after he leaves school, reminding us how positive reinforcement from educators can profoundly affect students - long after they move out into the world. And how we often don’t realize the impact of our words and actions.

Do you have a story of a teacher who made a difference in your life? (Check out this story.)

Leave a comment

Lauren and I also dove into the complexities of creating equitable and supportive learning environments. And while we acknowledge the value of seeing each student's unique background and potential, we also know that we ask a lot of teachers in our current school system. How we navigate the power of education to transform lives, particularly for those who may feel invisible or marginalized, is a big lift.

Our quest at the World of Learning is to support some of these complexities using digital resources in the courses we make - to take some of the stress from our teachers. We continually explore strategies for personalizing education to prevent students from slipping through the cracks and recognize the importance of communication, including making sure everyone who cares about the student has the resources to support the student. Whether it is access to the student work, emails from the virtual learning facilitators or specialists, or our Supervisors - if we need alternatives for success. We know that a community of support is the most comprehensive way we can help our school partners - help students succeed. 

Here are a few of our book recommendations:

Books, like Demon Copperhead help us to see the challenges of small rural communities with limited resources. To value the effort of sustained adult support and the long-term effects of such relationships with teachers, even when students experience setbacks. I have always believed that each person has a bright light and deserves our support in meeting their full potential. 

People in our own community, like Dr. Amy Arcurio, is at the forefront of the efforts to fairly fund our schools. Dr. Butler has spearheaded the IU8 Innovation Summit to explore how our schools can be future-focused. IU8 is also hosting a Readiness Institute for students with Penn State this summer - preparing Juniors for success after high school. And there are many more - I am sure. 

So remember your impact as you think of the seasons we are in - whether planting a garden or sitting down with a good book. Know it may not be rewarded at this moment - but your caring and concern for students last a lifetime. 

As always, if you can’t find a teacher or need to extend opportunities - check out our catalog! We are always up for a conversation about what we do every day! 


World of Learning Institute Podcast and Newsletter
We Do This Everyday!
We do our best each day to be authentic, relevant and engaging in the virtual education space. This podcast will help you see that you, too, can survive and thrive in the new and evolving world of blended and hybrid platforms for learning.
For many years the WOL Institute has provided the BEST in online virtual learning for K-12 schools. We hope our experience in the virtual world will help you navigate and succeed.