Day Four: March 19, 2020
So here I sit at my dining room table, looking across the street at the mostly abandoned park. But it’s Thursday morning, the park should be abandoned, right? I don’t know, because I’m usually at school teaching at this time of day.
I’m still a teacher, and my colleagues and I are working hard to find a good balance for our students between academic work, and open-ended types of interactions for them to have with their families at home, and digitally with each other and us. I cringe when I read that some schools have carried on with rigorous academic demands of their students. Give them a break. The students are under stress too, and resources for kids may be stretched. Resources like time, internet access, family support, and focus may be in short supply.
As teachers, we know our students, and when to push and when to back off a little. Right now is clearly a “back off a little” time. Do I want my students to keep learning? Of course I do, but at this point I don’t think there’s much sense in trying to micromanage their learning when I have no knowledge of or control over each of their individual situations.
School brings us together, and right now we don’t have that. Teachers all over this country (and most likely all over the world) are trying to teach themselves new technology at a rapid rate to respond to their students’ needs. I get it, I’m part of that mad scramble, but I also think we need to take a step back, breathe, and allow parents to navigate finding learning opportunities and experiences for their children, based on their interests and abilities. No, not everyone can do that, but many can and will, given the opportunity. Let’s work together and get through this thing with flying colors and “bigger” brains.