Oh, what a year this has been. As this month marks our city shutdown anniversary, we know many of you are stopping to reflect on your experience.
Schools closed with little warning, work shut down, and New York City went from a bustling metropolis to a bit of a ghost town.
Everyone was forced to pivot. Schools switched to digital learning, and we know many parents scrambled to solve childcare and remote learning dilemmas.
Chess at Three quickly pivoted as well. By March 13th, we had wholly moved our lessons over to a digital platform with accompanying video.
We are incredibly thankful for this option and that we were able to transition so quickly. Without our hardworking staff, patient and consistent clients, and incredible teachers, we could never have made this switch.
We know we are still a long way from returning to normal. The world is feeling safer every day, but life may never look just the same as it once did. Perhaps that isn’t the worst thing!
Many families are starting to process the lessons we have learned over these last twelve months. We are all emerging from this pandemic as different and hopefully stronger humans. We have learned to make the best of the dire situation and perhaps enjoy ourselves while we are at it!
At Chess at Three we are processing as well. We feel immensely grateful to continue the work we love and to be able to watch our students grow and thrive even during this pandemic.
This year has continued to surprise us. We have witnessed some incredible teaching moments between tutors and students as we understand that learning can look different from what we once believed it to be.
We decided to turn to our teachers. These extraordinary educators have spent the last year engaging with students and keeping the chess education going virtually.
Take a peek below at our biggest takeaways from a year of virtual learning!
“Virtual learning made my students, and I realize lessons could continue anywhere! If they were away on vacation but wanted an inside day, we could play chess.” - Traci
“My biggest takeaway was the ability to connect with kids and the levels of what they are learning: chess, computer skills, listening, patience, and of course what they were doing for fun. The other day I had a computer glitch, and three young boys sat didn't say a WORD while I figured it out. It was beautiful to see their patience in action.” - Jessica
“I knew I had the opportunity to make a difference. Simply put, my job is to bring one hour of joy to a student. Which, in these times, can make a difference for them and certainly makes a difference for me.”- Adrian
“ Directness is kindness when it comes to communication.”- Harlan
“Holding space for kids to share their thoughts or a little about their day is especially important.”- Catlin
“Our brains and bodies had to adjust to online learning. Check-in with yourself and your student frequently to identify what is needed to thrive (or even, at times, just survive) in an unideal learning environment.” - Mateo
“Children always want to keep learning.”- Jose
“The reality of social interaction is changing; whether we like it or not, someone needs to take charge of the experience and make this new normal a rewarding one for the kids of today and tomorrow--at Chess at Three, we aim to be at the forefront of positive change.” - Adam
“We don't need to worry about children because they are always learning”. - Jasmine
“One time, I made all the chess pieces appear on our virtual board with a little flourish, and my student's eyes lit up as if he truly believed I could magically make chess pieces appear. Can't do that in person!”- Charlie
“One of my favorite parts of online learning is getting to show my students a little window into what my home life is like -- specifically, how beautiful and silly my parakeets are!” - Rebecca
“I have one student who has become so invested in chess puzzles this year. Every week, after we've solved around ten, I ask her if she wants to do one more or two more, and she always says "three more!"- Rachel
“My best takeaway from this year’s online learning is watching my students grow their computer skills through chess! Some of them have started teaching me things about zoom!” - Annarose
“Switching to online teaching was definitely a challenge, but it also provided an exciting opportunity to hone my teaching practice and integrate new tools.” - Clara
“I love watching my young students figure out how to castle on a virtual chessboard!! The pieces jump over one another, and children always feel so excited and accomplished!” - Rachel
“Teaching online has highlighted for me how important it is for us to connect with our students. Since we are not in the same physical space, I have found that our time at the beginning of our lessons to connect, either with a silly question, or a joke, or even just a moment for my student to share something that happened that day or something they are excited for. That connection is essential for a successful lesson. Our students just need to feel heard, and I love that our lessons can be a place where I can hold space for them in that regard.”- Sarah
“It's so fun to have all my books and fun stuff handy so that if we want to read a story or look at a piece of art or a souvenir from one of my trips, it's easy to grab and share!” - Rebecca
There you have it! We love these thoughtful and inspirational responses from our fantastic tutors! We are so proud to offer these tremendous educators to our Chess at Three Clients!