Teaching in the time of Covid

Showing concern (“Care”) for student’s emotional and academic well-being has been the most difficult for me to achieve in a remote environment. At a time when students need care more than they usually do, it has been frustrating to be limited to the zoom and email. In some ways, the journey has been rewarding: there are those that accept the invitation for a one on one zoom call, those that reach out to me for a zoom, and I now appreciate that others are more comfortable with communicating with me solely by email. Although this would take explaining ,a concept longer in an email than on a zoom call, I have come to embrace it as some students have actually opened up more to me through written correspondence than they ever would have in an ordinary classroom situation. 

I look forward to being back in a classroom with students in real time! Tools such as Padlet, that I started using for the first time during this lockdown period, can then be enjoyed in a typical class environment, where students can be challenged, and we could immediately discuss some of their interesting ideas, and questions. I have really missed the cues that I used daily, the look on a student’s face when they still don’t get it, and the visible relief of the “aha now I understand “ moment. This has been a challenging few months! 

I feel the instructional videos I put together were most appreciated by students. I will definitely carry on with this, maximum 8-10 minutes only, followed by a task/ breakout room/ extension work.

Frustration with DX included feedback I had entered for the students, which then vanished. I really hope this doesn’t happen again:(. I will remember to download all assignments with my comments after grading from now on because of this.

I do not have my school computer with me. The very old tired laptop I am using continues to be a challenge. Instructions such as to “download the online learning planner and use a program installed on your school laptop” continues to be difficult for me.

There is always room to grow in my capacity as an educator. Strategies or tools that can profitably come back to the face to face classroom are hopefully not lost. This has been an isolating period for everyone. I’m looking forward to connecting with students and colleagues again.

 T

My survey has shown I need to challenge some of the students to a greater extent.

My plan: to limit teacher talk time and focus on differentiation. Although this means more prep time, I think the rewards will be worth the effort. Strategies: analysis of current news articles –  varying degrees of difficulty, group work – calculations shown on white paper.

One student had elected to retake a test and the significant improvement in her result made her feel very confident in the section. I will encourage this?

 

To be honest, I am a little confused by the feedback:

My teacher wants us to use our thinking skills, not just memorize things. = high

My teacher doesn’t let people give up when the work gets hard.= high

My teacher makes us explain our answers – why we think what we think= average.

In this class, my teacher accepts nothing less than our full effort.= Low

 

Nevertheless, this “challenge” is an important aspect to focus on and will not be a waste of time.

 

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