2020 has been the year of adapting. From wearing personal protective equipment to learning on Zoom, our school community quickly adapted to the “new normal,” our ever-changing environment, and many unknown conditions as the novel coronavirus exponentially spread.
When kindergarten teacher Mamie Pepper noticed a rise in the coyote population in San Francisco as people mainly remained indoors during the pandemic, she adopted this often feared animal as her class mascot. Mamie introduced a coyote puppet to enhance Zoom engagement and asked her students to give it a name.
One student suggested, "Adapto" (from the animated PBS show “Wild Kratts”). Unfamiliar with the show, Mamie researched and learned that coyotes are incredibly adaptive to their surroundings with their heightened senses and camouflage abilities, hence the name “Adapto.” Knowing that this was going to be a very difficult school year, Mamie leaned on Adapto to inspire the young learners as they push themselves beyond their comfort zones, persevere through frustrations, and become independent problem-solvers as they are restricted from touching each other’s things as well as one another. No matter how small the task, Adapto leads the pack in a collective howl in celebration when students rise to the challenge.
Adapting to a new and changing world, and thereby building essential skills such as grit, has been the biggest lesson this year. How well did you adapt this year? What was your valuable adaptive skill developed in 2020?