Notes on distance learning

The world of zoom and creation distance learning lessons have made it easy to lose track of time and space. Holding on to what day it is challenging.¬†Videoing lessons can feel like putting a message in a bottle and hoping someone opens it. The response is delayed, and figuring out where kids are is a bit “laggy.”

Despite all of it, there is a fair amount of good.

My current library consists of ebooks on EPIC. I know some of the books, but many are new to me.  In many ways giving students access skim at their own pace has created student-led book recommendations. Some of my kiddos miss books that are made of paper. (Dare I say, real books.) But for some, clicking on a word and learning the meaning is liberating.

Learning how to make small groups work has been a journey. Not being next to a student to look at what they are doing is difficult. But, distractions are minimized. The work is very small. Students need help in making daily plans. And that has reaped tremendous rewards. Students are successful and realize they need this kind of accountability to stay on pace.

Simple is bigger than I realized. Short articles, simple sentence stems have pushed student thinking and offered room for deeper student response.

Everything takes more time. Perhaps this is something that will speed up with familiarity. Perhaps this is what was necessary all along.

While this type of teaching far from ideal, the result of it has made me take a hard look at what works. And in the end, small pieces of this work will benefit our classroom. Whenever we see it again.