There has been no other time in my career that I have been more proud to be a teacher.
Collectively, teachers from around the world have joined hands and taken a giant leap into the unknown waters of “Emergency Distance Learning”.
It wasn’t something we wanted to do. We had to do it. Covid19 left us with no choice.
We did not gracefully pivot (implies a simple, natural step), we all lept.
Thankfully social media and other means of communication have allowed us to support one another from a distance. Our PLN’s have become our “life preservers”, so to speak, helping to keep us afloat.
Thankfully, Covid19 happened at a time in the school year when relationships had already been established. Through close daily interactions and learning together throughout the year, most teachers already knew their students well and were aware of their individual learning styles and needs. I couldn’t imagine trying to navigate Emergency Distance Learning without having already established relationships with my students.
Teachers would much rather be face to face, in their classrooms, with their students, doing what they skillfully, naturally and instinctively do. Being in the classroom setting allows teachers to interact and engage with their students; knowing when to push and when to pull back, when to help and when to stand by, when to talk and when to listen, when to question. They just know.
And so, here we are, continuing to try to figure out this beast as we go. The scary thing is the unknown. We are missing the human interaction. The human connection. Teachers are spending their days grappling with how best to interact and connect with their students. Not only do we have 30 kids who we are trying to connect with, and teach from a distance, we are also doing our best to work in partnership with their parents to help them best support their child. Teaching our class from a distance, while at the same time, differentiating for and connecting with each of our students, their parents and upwards of sixty different households, during a most extraordinarily stressful time in the history of the world is an overwhelming and daunting task.
But we’ve got this. And we’ve got each other. Reach out to your close personal colleagues and friends. But don’t forget there are teachers freely and openly sharing on social media platforms and in education communities. Now may be the time to start building your PLN.
We can’t do this alone. But, together we will.