Reflections on our Time in Continuous Learning

Dr. Randy Watts
Many of our teachers have noted that the little moments have been the most special, whether they are helping a student with a particular issue, celebrating a birthday remotely, or connecting on a common interest. 
To the Brookwood Family:

This has been a time of growth and change! In our wildest imaginations, none of us would have foreseen that our world would go into lockdown and that we would spend weeks in our homes during the school year.

Within those challenges have been some opportunities. We have seen wonderful examples of creativity and innovation from our faculty and students. Here are a few observations of education in our new realm (this is only a small sample!):
  • Our second grade students are completing and submitting assignments electronically every day. They have learned proper etiquette for Google Hangouts video conferencing for their daily review and how to take turns asking questions when the teacher is presenting material to them.
  • Fifth graders are staying engaged with opportunities that the traditional classroom does not offer, such as a "Bring Your Pet to School Day” — when students joined a Google Hangout with their pets and introduced them to their classmates and teacher. 
  • Lower School Technology Instructor Mrs. Kendra Burrus, in partnership with Mr. Will Hanna ‘09, has generated over 900 masks for healthcare workers using 3-D printers. Given the shortage in supply, these masks have been vital to local healthcare workers.
  • In Mrs. Cauley’s seventh grade world geography class, students created videos about uncommonly known facts about Japan. Using FlipGrid, they were able to add graphics, filters, and stickers to make their videos their own. 
  • The eighth grade English class will be recording themselves hurling Shakespearean insults at one another using the Shakespeare Insult Generator!
  • In eighth grade Physical Science, Mrs. Ramsey did a scavenger hunt for a periodic table of elements — virtually! 
  • In the Upper School, Mr. Massey has added Delta Math to his classes — a website designed for student practice in mathematics —  for skill development for AP Calculus. This website provides individualized step-by-step feedback to students when they miss a problem.
  • Students in the Foundations of Innovations Class have been assigned a fort-building project using the principles of Design Thinking. The forts may be built outside or inside with whatever type of materials are available to the students at home.
  • Rev. Marsh observed, “Continuous Learning is providing Upper School faculty with new tools to foster academic growth.  It is also helping our faculty identify some areas of growth in order to prepare our students for the freedom and rigors of the collegiate learning experience.”
Many of our teachers have noted that the little moments have been the most special, whether they are helping a student with a particular issue, celebrating a birthday remotely, or connecting on a common interest. 

For example:
  • First grade teacher Mrs. Howell said, “One of the highlights for me happens every day when the first graders see each other before our Hangout begins!” 
  • In third grade, Mrs. Taylor noted, “I can still teach; I can still reach! I got to hear a teacher’s favorite sound yesterday during a math lesson: “Ooooohhh!’”
  • Upper School Science teacher Mr. Funt observed, “When I first log in to Google Hangouts, often students are already there, catching up with each other, cracking jokes, and enjoying each other's company. I like to see the students interacting with one another.”
  • Upper School History teacher Ms. Vann said, “The bestthing about the Google Hangout days is that I can see and hear my kids.  And the best part of the class is at the end, when I speak to each student individually before signing off.  I call each student by name, with a variation of "Thanks for showing up; it was good to see you. I look forward to seeing you again, and I miss you." And it does my heart good to hear my kids say, "Bye, Miss Vann, " or "See you tomorrow," or "Thank you!," or "Miss you, too."  
As a final thought, second grade teacher Mrs. Delanna Clendenin stated the following: “Although this is a challenging time for us all, the Continuous Learning format has brought out the creativity in all of us to make the connections with students we naturally make in the classroom on a daily basis. Teaching is about more than presenting the skill; it's about real human interaction and connection, and that is the need we are all missing and trying to meet.”

Thank you for all that you do for the Brookwood Family! 


Dr. Randy Watts
Located in Thomasville, GA, Brookwood School is a private school for grades JK-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.