The coronavirus outbreak has been stressful to say the least. I have been at home for nearly 60 days straight now. I am juggling being a full time dad of twins with teaching online (something I haven’t ever done) as well as my leadership duties.
As an educator who strives to facilitate the very best of learning engagements for my students, I must admit that the first week was particularly stressful as I just didn’t see how I could efficiently introduce new concepts and avoid the dreaded worksheety material.
There is a poster outside my classroom promoting a Growth Mindset, something that I promote to my students on a daily basis. Rather than saying “this is too hard” try saying “challenges help me to grow”, for example. If I’m perfectly honest, I needed to give myself a bit of a kick to actually practice what I preach. I need to remind myself that I have grown from this experience. I have learned new tools to add to my toolkit. I have learned from and felt inspired by the work of my colleagues.
The online learning has improved tenfold, to a point where I have learned new strategies to implement technology in the classroom; providing an additional tool for effective differentiation for when we do eventually come back to school. Keeping positive and adapting to these changes is the only way to ensure you give your very best!
I was reflecting on my experience as a PYP Coordinator today, and some of the Standards and Practices we had to work particularly hard on sprung to mind:
– The school utilizes the resources and expertise of the community to enhance learning within the programme.
– The school communicates its assessment philosophy, policy and procedures to the school community.
– The school community demonstrates an understanding of, and commitment to, the programme.
Surely this level of collaboration between teachers, parents and children is unprecedented, and a huge silver lining to this less than fortunate situation we all find ourselves in. When we do eventually open up our doors again, the parents will return with a far deeper understanding (and ideally, appreciation!) of our philosophy and approach to teaching and learning, having actually taught using an inquiry-based model and seen the benefits for themselves.