Preparing for the Weirdest School Year Ever

What action(s) might you take in order to prepare for online and blended learning?

The key to our team’s success (and this is a team effort – impossible to do by one’s self) is planning ahead as much as possible.  With Grade 5 teachers in on campus, in quarantine, in transit, in different US time zones, figuring out how to work smarter, not harder, is going to be the first thing we need to do. It’s hard to wrap my head around the flow of the day because the schedule is so different than what we are used to.

Considering your previous experience with online learning, what are your instructional strengths & areas for growth?

My strengths are in figuring out ways to create community as a grade level. I initiated our first grade-level assembly and also took care to make our eoy ceremony meaningful as well. On the academic side, I am strong in the ELA online delivery, so I took a lot of that on. I had a lot of trouble with feedback in a timely manner. The feedback loop takes so much longer online than in person.

Using the 5Cs of online learning, what goals might you set for yourself in anticipation of future online instruction?

I think the biggest one is to CLARIFY. The hardest thing to do is to get students to totally understand your expectations. I think also the clarification of technical skills and where to find things and how to access the lessons (which will be different from last year in Grade 4) will be hard. I think clarifying expectations for participation and timely completion of assignments is also going to be important.

How might you achieve these goals? Who might you reach out to for support?

My team is magical and will have solutions for all of these things, so I am not too worried at the moment. I also plan on relying on my IP and my TA more for administrative stuff.

If you had a magic wand, what might the 5Cs of online learning look like in your classroom?

If I had a magic wand, I would be able to close the feedback loop quickly in all subjects. I would be able to teach in a classroom of self-directed students who knew how to solve their own problems when faced with difficulty. I would have an automatic scheduler and info-keeper keeping of who I have met with and what we talked about!

Hallelujah I’m Not the Worst

Well, truth be told first I was on the landing page and it put me in a terrible mood for the whole day. Without going into details, there was a lot of LOW, and I *thought* that was my classroom response. But, even though I had received instruction to NOT look at the landing page, well…it landed there! And then I figured out that the item response was really the place to look, and WHEW. Much better. A bit more accurate, and a lot more digestible in terms of feedback.


The thing is, I was most upset about the CARE part – I thought (when I looked at the initial landing page) that my students thought I didn’t care about them…especially frustrating since I work so hard to show them that I do!  But after I clicked on the individual response, I breathed a sigh of relief because those results showed otherwise. Yay! My students know I care.

The survey, though, did reveal that I have some growth to do in these areas:

My teacher takes the time to summarize what we learn each day.

When he/she is teaching us, my teacher asks us whether we understand. 

I think part of this is the go-go-go schedule, and the 45-minute class periods that we have that contribute to this. I need to think if I want to change my goal (from our group goal of CONFER) to one that has to more explicitly with checking for understanding and teaching.

Stay tuned.

One Step At A Time

To be honest, much of this is daunting to me. Not because it’s particularly difficult, or because I don’t think that I can do it. It’s just that there is SO MUCH TO DO as a teacher. So many frameworks, so many checklists, so many expectations that we put on ourselves (I say WE because I can’t be the only one, right?). I look around at others and I think, “How do they get their job done?” “How do they make it look so easy?”. I am constantly comparing myself to others and wondering how I can be a better teacher without moving into my classroom and making it a 24/7 operation. As it happens, it’s a Sunday afternoon and I am sitting at school, typing this up. Where is everyone else? When did they have the time to do this? Even after over 16 years of teaching, I still haven’t found the secret to making things easier. I’m trying, though.

So, when asked to narrow it down to ONE thing that I want to work on within the 7Cs framework, I look and say ALL OF IT! There’s not one single area that I can’t find ways to grow in. I am also aware that there are so many aspects of being an effective teacher/team member/faculty member that aren’t even ON THIS LIST. Wouldn’t it be interesting if our colleagues were given a survey to share their thoughts about who we are a team member? On second thought, maybe that wouldn’t be such a great idea.

In any case, to choose my area for growth, I think it would have to be CONFERRING. In full transparency, this is the TEAM Goal this year as well, and I would be stupid not to double-dip on that one.  As a team, we are trying to figure out how to not only be better conferrers, but also how to keep better records of that conferring. It’s harder than it seems. In more transparency, I often wonder if the effort that goes into conferring and record-keeping does actually improve student performance. In my experience with 5th Graders, their brains are not set up to take advice or to follow through on directions that would require them to do more work. 10-year-olds are very much of the mindset “I’m done, so I’m done”. So I will be interested to see how the act of conferring transfers (or doesn’t) into higher-level work.





I think that I may change my mind after I give my survey. I will be able to see student perceptions of my teaching and can adjust my goals as necessary. Good luck to me!


Welcome to your Professional Learning Blog! This is a place for you to post your goals, and reflect on them throughout the year.

  • Decide on your goal, perhaps in consultation with your colleagues or principal, and create a post to share with this online professional learning community that you are now a part of! Categorise this post in Goal Setting. Set your goal by considering:
    • Self assessment and reflection based on new teacher standards  (Tripod 7C’s)
    • Previous or new observation data from peers and principals
    • Student surveys (online surveys developed and aligned with 7C’s)
  • Identify colleagues, coaches, principals etc. that will play a supporting role in achieving your goal, and invite them to view and comment on your post. Encourage them to bookmark your blog and visit regularly.
  • Throughout the year, collect and share evidence to support your progress. Categorise these posts in Reflection.
  • Encourage your colleagues to share your learning journey by engaging with your blog. In return, engage with their blog (and others across the School)
  • You may also like to share work that your students have created or your own professional achievements that may not be directly related to your goal setting. This is encouraged! Categorise these posts as Showcase.

If you need support using this platform, please don’t hesitate to contact Ed Tech, we are always happy to be of assistance!

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