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We are Nearer to Spring than We Were in September....

29 Sep 2020 4:34 PM | Chris Ouellette (Administrator)

By Chris Ouellette

Director of the Academic Skills Center at Miss Hall’s School

Hello there you wonderful humans! Happy end of September to you all! Most of us are bringing the 1st month of classes or more to a close. Whether you have had students back in person since day one, or you are just now slowly starting to see students return to campus, please know how important your work has been to the school communities we serve. We are providing virtual sessions at all times of the day to accommodate time zone changes for our students. I have not spoken with a Learning Specialist this year who hasn’t seen 1-1 sessions from 7:00am EST to 10:00pm EST.   One thing is clear, this shift to a hybrid style of learning and teaching has brought a whirlwind of mixed results. 

Some of the students who work with us regularly are thriving with reduced course loads or reduced length of their school days. The shift to virtual calendars has helped our students who are the most organizationally challenged. On the other hand, some of our Rockstar students are finding that the increased amount of independent work expected is proving to be quite taxing to plan for. Our students already face difficulties with long term project planning during regularly scheduled programming, and now we are seeing that struggle amplified across students both in and outside of our learning support systems. There is a silver lining to the challenges with independent work being highlighted now; our schools can place a larger focus on building these skills throughout a student’s program. If we can increase support designed to strengthen these skills in all of our students now, they will be better prepared for the world post high-school, whatever that may bring them!

I know that I am not the only Learning Specialist out there who is exhausted already. Since the school year always brings less personal time, I have found myself in need of work/life separation even more so this year. One thing that has got me through is a steady supply of music. I wanted to share my most recent playlist with you all:

  • LoFi Hip Hop (chill, melodic, Jazz/Hip-hop instrumentals, multitude of varieties here, check out “Beats to relax/study to” or “Brazil songs”) 

  • ”Sing About It” The Wood Brothers (also shared in my last post)

  • ”When Doves Cry” Prince 

  • ”Invisible Seas” Panacea

  • ”Just Thinkin” Slightly Stoopid ft Chali 2na

  • ”RITMO” Black Eyed Peas, J Balvin

  • ”Own Light (what hearts are for)” Brother Ali

  • “Danger Zone” Kenny Loggins

  •  DJ 9thWonder has been running the “Fass-Auntie Lounge” on Instagram and has been spinning records live

  • “River Takes the Town” The Wood Brothers

  • “Pressure Drop” Toots & The Maytals

If music doesn’t get you through, allow me to share one of my favorite motivational quotes from the movie Finding Nemo: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” -Dory the fish. So, as you enter the month of October, if you find yourself drifting at sea, please reach out to someone at NEALS so we can throw you that much needed life-preserver. 



Title inspired by: “I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. A magical thing. And sweet to remember. We are nearer to Spring than we were in September. I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.” -Oliver Herford

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