I write while Taylor Swift’s new album folklore streams through my headphones. Ever since it’s release July 24, it’s been the perfect anytime music for this weird time. Poetic lyrics that one can relate to, brilliant storytelling that makes you want to listen more closely, and gentle but affronting melodies. However, this is not a album review blog post (darn), it’s my first blog post of the 2020-2021 school year and is the first signifier that school is back in session.
As I prepare for the upcoming school year as a coach, flexibility will continue to be important. With Online Learning last semester what I was supposed to do changed weekly. It was very fuzzy and grey and there were weeks when I felt helpful and successful but there were many weeks where I felt very defeated, discouraged, and ineffective. So ultimately, my goal for this year is to have more weeks where I felt successful and helpful.
To prepare for blended learning and the instructional partner model, I want to keep the focus on using student data to drive instruction. Last year I felt wrapped up in continuing through the curriculum at a rigorous pace to ensure it was all taught. Because of this, there was not time for teachers to regularly look at student progress and refine and respond teaching. Now that ELA and Math have prioritized certain standards and outcomes for units and modified the pacing I am confident that teachers will feel like they have more time to assess and teach what’s essential and have time to reteach or linger in a teaching point if needed. So as a coach, my role is to make sure I have a solid understanding of the curriculum as well as many different options to collect, reflect, and act on student data. Exit tickets, Seesaw posts, anecdotal notes from live sessions, and organized note keeping will be critical to this success.
I also want to make sure I focus on Care. I will have the opportunity to be on campus while many of our teacher are still in the process of returning to Beijing. Even though I don’t have a homeroom, I want to forge relationships with many ES students. I will be present and visible as often as I can, use SEL activities, check ins, and check outs to get to know students better, and use self-assessment regarding content and social-emotional health to stay attuned to how students are doing. I also want colleagues to know how much I care for them and want to support them. To do this I will take advantage of opportunities to discuss things other than work (Taylor Swift, anyone?) and check in with how people are really doing. And when I need a bit more care, I’ll be vulnerable and brave enough to ask for help.
I imagined lessons based on mini-lessons for a reading unit appropriate for UES students. It will need modification once I know student needs and interests. I just love this format and template!
KHandy Online Learning Assignment (link to pdf)