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What I Hope to Accomplish with Panda Cares

Written by Nicollette Frank
December 16, 2020

This year has been. . .something. I have been so grateful to teach in a “pandemic pod”, closely working with six families, eight children, and two teachers. My students love to read and write, and their families are supportive of their curiosity and creativity. With Panda Cares, I hope not only to support my students and their families, but to create a space for the larger community to also engage in this practice.

I’ve already been invigorated by the conversations and ideas that have come forth through this opportunity. It feels a bit like I’m back in my own writing project experience, and I love carrying that energy with me month to month and into my classroom. I hope to soak up all I can from this experience, make a habit of seeing myself as a writer (instead of identifying that way only occasionally), make strong connections, and try new things with the families with whom I work. For my students, I hope they find connection with writing, with one another, and with the community of people who share our space. (We learn in a suite in an industrial warehouse alongside artists, realtors, etc.)

There’s no denying the unique circumstances of this academic year. I think one of the greatest accomplishments I can hope for is that the experience of these families is one that speaks back to the narrative of kids “falling behind” and “missing out” because of the pandemic. I hope Panda Cares can help create space for us to sit with what we’ve lost and revel in all we’ve gained in our little pandemic pod.