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“Oh my gosh – look at this one.”

“Oh, HELLO.”


I plucked off another deep red, juicy, fat strawberry hiding under the summer green leaves. My Page Farms basket was almost full now, and I was nearly down the end of the row. Our team took a Friday morning trip to pick berries this week, and six of us in the Durham area seized the beautiful day for a little treat. The strawberries were so good, and the time was equally sweet. One of my takeaways from the DukeEngage Academy was to have a sense of intentionality with my team community in Durham—as intentional as I wanted to be, as much as we could develop community. 


The same has been true of my classroom. I had fun showing the students a clip of me playing piano and trying the Roger Federer quarantine challenge, but I found myself tired when the students wouldn’t respond to the reading questions or when my audio cut out yet again. We also received news that we would no longer be allowed to connect with our students through WeChat, which is their primary means of communication. Although we were slightly disappointed, I could be more intentional in the way I called on names and recognized students as they shared their drawings about their favorite activities (which has been my favorite classroom activity we’ve run so far). The teachers in China also suggested that we ask the students to practice constructing more sentences. So, I started asking the students more follow-up questions: “What’s your favorite hobby? Ooo… I like playing basketball too. Who do you play basketball with?” One of the boys plays basketball every day after school with Kyrie Irving, another one of our students. 


We’re still spotting fun ways to spend time with our students over Zoom and our teammates at Duke. We’re filling our baskets with juicy new ideas along the way.