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What we CAN do

May 13, 2020 | Ms. Jonker

I am amazed at how adaptable the students have been through this huge shift in lifestyle and learning plan. I have said this before and I will keep saying it. Many things are different now. Doing schoolwork is different, and being a community is different.

Adventurous discussed these differences in our Monday small group meetings this week. Here is some of what they said:

“Apologizing is different because you have to filter through what you are going to say a little. Like, in the classroom, you just say ‘sorry’ but on Google chat, you have to wait until they are reading it.”

Things feel less sincere usually, and it is easier to hide how you really feel.”

Sometimes on zoom calls with friends, you run out of things to talk about.”

Sometimes Google chatting feels easier than face to face.”

It is hard to have integrity and make work time for work.”

“Everything feels more disconnected.”

Because of the changes, there are many things we can’t do anymore. In our class meetings this week, we have been focusing on what we CAN do. How can we participate in school? How can we demonstrate that we are participating and that we care?  What can we do to be part of our community and keep our class covenant?

We can look forward to the end of the day. We can make wake-up time goals in order to get work done.”

We can encourage one another!”

We can take 15 minute breaks every 45 minutes.”

“We can aim to be 10 minutes early to meetings.”

“We can volunteer to speak in zoom calls.”

We can have our heads in the middle of the screen and have our eyes looking at the screen.”

“We can go on Google hangouts with friends and our STEAM partners.”

“Everybody can think about all the things we have accomplished this year so far, and look ahead to next year. We are in it together.”

“If we have a reason we can’t do any of the right things, we can communicate with the teachers about it!”

We also noticed that a fourth of our covenant is about keeping our classroom tidy! I can tell that we continue to care about keeping space clean. Several students have mentioned that now that we share space with our families even more than before, being mindful of tidiness at home is key.

As we finish this year, we will continue to focus on what we CAN do. My prayer is for resilience and joy along the way!


Kat Jonker

Teacher, Grades 4

Kat Jonker is energized by how passionately Mustard Seed School nurtures each student to blossom into the person God has made them to be. She’s honored to teach and learn beside the fourth and fifth grade students here.

Ms. Jonker’s always been surrounded and inspired by dedicated teachers--including her mother! When she began teaching private violin lessons as a high school student, Ms. Jonker began to think about teaching as a career. Soon she realized her passion for teaching and learning as an Elementary Education with an integrated science major at Calvin College. There she flourished as an assistant teacher at Calvin’s middle school chemistry camp. She also led elementary nature programs at Calvin’s ecosystem preserve.

Music remains one of Ms. Jonkers passions and you’ll sometimes get to hear her playing in worship. She’s an avid violin player and spent a disproportionately large amount of her college life in string quartet rehearsals. She listens to music constantly and likes to keep it eclectic, so if you have any music recommendations, send them her way.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, is Ms. Jonker’s home town. Through God-gifted communities of faith there, she found her roots in grace and a life of service.

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