Updated: Apr 15, 2021
We survived! It is worth celebrating how far we've come this year when thinking about distance learning, and now that school's out I've had some time to reflect and think about some the things that made me a better teacher as a result of distance learning. I'm excited to share them with you, and hope that you can relate too!
ORGANIZATION IS KEY
Nothing brings me greater joy in life than being organized, and this year I really made the effort to transfer this to my Google Classroom. I wanted to make sure that this space was easy to navigate for students, parents and also the coverage teachers who were posting materials in my classroom. So through some trial and error, I learned what worked and what did not but the key point I want to make here is that the endless stream of student work is not the most efficient method! If you are able to be organized within your digital classroom, your students will still be able to thrive. It just takes a little bit of learning!
COLLABORATE, CONNECT & ASK FOR HELP
Distance learning was a frustrating experience for most of us, but I learned a lot about being resilient and problem solving. I realize that we often focus on teaching our students how to master these skills, but I think that this was another huge positive moment that came from all of this. I watched as so many teachers that I know reached out for help who may have never wanted to ask for help before. As teachers, I found that there was WAY more collaboration and contact between colleagues than before all of this. It is a beautiful thing when you can co-plan with another teacher, or swap an activity with them to take another thing off of your own plate.
I wouldn't say that I was a boring teacher before all this happened, but I certainly did not incorporate as many games into my teaching pre-distance learning. When you teach French, it's a constant battle to get students engaged. So, of course once in a while I would throw in a game to keep their attention. However, when this all happened and we transition to distance-learning, I realized pretty quickly that my same old tricks were not going to work the way that they used to. So what I am really appreciative of is how this distance learning experience did force me grow and consider things I never would before, especially how to make activities more engaging for my students.
At the end of the day, I am always looking for ways to grow. I think that we all are, and situations like this one truly push us out of our comfort zone and force us to adapt; which can be a good thing!
Over the next couple of week I will be focusing my blog posts on technology tips and tricks that can help you ease some of your anxiety about distance learning in the fall.