It certainly doesn’t look like school as we know it. After all, our families and teachers are all trying to balance the reality of working from home, managing their online meetings, devices, their kids online school, and the unfortunate realities of the probability of someone getting sick. Pretty stressful.
In the last couple of weeks, I realized that one thing continues to shine through…relationships. The relationships created in school are hard to duplicate online, but are necessary to make the most of being in a remote learning environment. The power of the relationships our teachers have with their students has been the foundation of what has happened to date. It is clear though that our teachers miss their students and our students miss their teachers.
So what else are our teachers up to? We should be extremely proud that they were able to move many of the facets of traditional school to a non-traditional online world. While remote learning will never have the same impacts as face-to-face learning, our teachers have been amazing at bringing as much as they can to the remote environment.
So what is happening?
- Our counselors are connecting with students and families individually and in groups. zoom.us
- Yesterday some hosted junior zoom calls to talk about the college process.
- Foreign Language teachers are using the online tool Gimkit to help students with vocabulary. Currently 3 or 4 other schools are involved with them too!
- One teacher has a funny hat day scheduled during her zoom meeting with her students try lighten the mood. After all, we can still have fun!
- All teachers have managed to learn or teach themselves how to use Zoom or Google Meet for online video connections with students.
- Teachers have used Zoom and Screencastify to record 10-15 minute reviews and prompts for students.
- School counselors, our RISE program team and our school resource officer meet weekly online and then fan out to connect with students who we need a connection or boost.
- One teacher uses a song of the day to make relevant connections for the prompt or assignment
- A teacher and his son are using the HS 3-D printer to print masks for local hospitals
- Our staff created 17 live zoom trainings to support professional development of our teachers
Each day I learn about something new and amazing that is happening within our remote learning environment. The key to success has been hard work, persistence and most importantly, the relationships we built when we are together.
I am sure our teachers and students will continue to do amazing things together. Times like this consistently open the doors for more innovation and creativity. Will our schools ever be the same?