From my experience this school year, I feel like I got to play my Rocky theme song like I do every year at the end of the school year, to say. Finally, I made it to the top of the stairs in the school year. Teaching in this mode, I’m also feeling like, Yeah, I need to figure out what this looks like for moving forward?
We’ve been through teaching virtually like, you know, trying to fly a plane with train parts. And this stuff was very, very hard. I like to reflect, but I was like, dang, they didn’t even have a pandemic methods class when I went to school. Of course, we had no idea what was happening to the world. So we were all in crisis mode. We were trying our hardest to figure out how to translate all this stuff that we need to teach our students before the end of the school year.
But as educators, we’re also thinking of how are we going to get through this fall? How am I going to approach my teaching style, how is my style, my methods? So I got myself into that learning mode of literally trying to find things on YouTube to do these learning platforms.
I spent a lot of my time trying to map out a schedule, and our district gave us that directive of how many minutes we were supposed to have live in-person training—teaching, synchronous and asynchronous. So the student wouldn’t be in front of the computer for a long time, because you know, screen time. So then my teacher team and I came up with an idea of planing the proper daily schedule that covered all subjects with breaks in between.
I’m going to make this memorable for my fifth graders this year. I’ve learned that I have to keep things consistent for my students and compatible with my families. When you’re teaching, virtually, you have to be comfortable with the fact that, wow, I can’t control the other side of my screen, I can’t control what the students are going to be listening or learning or had to leave for the reason that is out of my knowledge.
I decided to do with my love of broadcasting because I chose to double-time with my love of filming. I would teach live. And then, I would pre-record my lessons, pre-record my reading, pre-record my math, pre-record my science and social studies. If a student is not available or didn’t come to my Google meet, I still have to teach them the standards and criteria.
I would get full engagement with all of my students. My biggest suggestion would be to pre-record your lessons. I also love to read out loud. Since we had a limited amount of time reading aloud, I decided to whip up my Screencast o-Matic. I recorded myself reading a chapter. And my students loved it. They give me great feedback when they are on the learning system. I get to have my students feel like they’re at school but in a different sort of way.
I created a little video tutorial for my students’ classroom and behavior expectations during our distance learning classroom. For example, you could see something on the other side of your virtual meets that you wouldn’t expect. You have to have your poker face on when you are teaching live. Those are the things you can’t miss a beat. And that is it’s so imperative. So please put on your inner Oprah and have fun with it. And of course, as I said, set the tone, set parameters, and stick with it. You know what is best for your learners. No matter if you are in person or teaching virtually. Thank you again for visiting my blog.