The adjustment to online, asynchronous learning over the course of the second half of the 2019-2020 school year was challenging for students, parents, and teachers alike. But after an initial adjustment period, I feel like we settled into an interesting, predictable, and fair routine where many students thrived under difficult circumstances.
Online learning pushed me to consider new approaches to teaching, experiment with new technologies and teaching methods, and to really consider the individual strengths and challenges faced by each student.
In preparing for this new school year, I hope to build off the successes and experiences from last school year while continuing to strive to build a safe, rewarding, challenging, and interesting learning experience for the students.
Last school year, I felt myself, our team and grade level as a whole did well in showing the students we cared about them, while clarifying expectations and building multiple examples and explanations to help make assignments, projects, and learning goals as clear as possible. I am also confident that students enjoyed the units we created while also understanding the frustrations that came with being tied to their computers and stuck at home or in hotels.
This year, I hope to improve in individual and small group conferences to help guide students, monitor their progress, encourage them, and help support their confidence in their own abilities and ideas. While Mr. McLean and I offered prompt and in-depth feedback and encouragement to the kids, I’d like to improve my efforts to confer with kids in real-time as they explore and practice the concepts we are learning in class. If we are online, this includes making more use of zoom break-out rooms and scheduling more frequent individual and small-group conferences. This also means more long-term planning so all students understand the objectives, expectations, and due dates for assignments and assume more responsibility and empowerment over their progress.