#sol20- March 15, 2020
As we begin our first days of continuous learning tomorrow my slice today is a little different because I have not left my apartment, not spoken to anyone in person.
Teachers report to school tomorrow without students on campus. Elementary families who need to borrow a school device to give their students to the lessons we will push out will come to school on Tuesday (adults only). We will start to firm up our agreements amongst the teachers tomorrow, as now it is real. We have many questions, as I know the parents and students do too.
This has made me reflect on what I want to keep and change from our usual school routines. What I have already accepted (not easy for a control freak like me) is that our team will share out the planning more than we have in the past. We have agreed that we will make Slides to share and include any necessary video instruction that we may or may not sub out- we will have to be much more in synch with each other and give up some of the personalization that we are accustomed to. We will not be able to make on the fly changes that reflect our students in the room, because, for the most part, they will work independently as we try to limit screen time. I can reconcile myself with this, knowing that there will be times that I do create my own video so students hear my voice in our class. So all of this is a big change, as is the method of delivery. We use Seesaw as a portfolio, but it is going to be the platform for teaching as well. In the past I have used Seesaw activities, but not as robustly as I will now. Luckily I practiced this a bit with our class in the last two weeks. We also tried out Zoom for live sessions and reviewed using Google docs, Drive, Flipgrid, and more. This is all good- as our school is not 1:1 I have been remiss in not integrating technology as much as I have in previous schools. The students have learned a lot in the last two weeks and have more skills, which is great. The skills will help them now and in the future once we are back in the building.
What I am not willing to change is our sense of community. I want to continue having some form of Morning Meeting daily, in addition, to read aloud time. While I know not everyone will be able to “attend” these sessions live, as many as possible will and this will allow us to continue to grow our community. I will encourage our team to have a student and parent survey each week to check in and see how our larger community is coping with this new reality. This is an opportunity to help parents interact with their third graders in a new academic way. It will not be easy or smooth.
I am lucky to work with an incredibly hard-working team and I know that we will all contribute whatever we can to make this all easier for us all. Our priority is the students and keeping this in mind will make the challenges ahead a bit easier to take. We will learn new strengths in each other and I am grateful that we have each other to lean on.