I won’t bury the lead. It is my recommendation that we plan for no more than 90 minutes a day of remote learning.
I made this up.
You’re making it up. This is not a snow day. This is not online classes. This is not something we planned for. This is traumatizing. How do we know what to do in this situation?? We don’t. No one does. We have little to no research or precedence for this.
Let me be honest. I’m not handling this well. I’ve caught myself staring at the wall for 20 minutes and I’m yelling at everyone. This … Is…. Stressful… And hard.
It should not be a surprise I am an extrovert, but my 7 year old … he’s more extroverted than me. And he’s lethargic, laying around, can’t just talking to anyone on video chat. He is not even close to being himself. THIS IS HARD ON HIM. My 16 year old is handling it better but still not great, not being able to go be with her friends is hard.
I essentially lost my job when Covid-19 hit. And my kids know it. All 5 of them. There is no way this doesn’t effect them.
Every single family has a different situation and story. There is no way to know what someone is going through. Many won’t share the hardship, and they should not be required to.
Remote Learning is Not Online learning
I have been 1:1 nearly my entire teaching career. I started teaching math in 1999. I’ve done blended learning almost this entire time. I’ve taught online. My masters degree was online (Educational Media Design & Technology) and while I only did 2.5 years of a doctoral program that was online too.
This is not online learning.
Any guidelines on online learning do not apply. We can not begin to know what is going on with peoples mental state when there is a global pandemic, massive numbers of people have lost their job or reduced hours, you can’t leave your house for weeks, and the security of school is snatched.
One thing I have learned from online teaching and learning is it takes way longer than you think it does. Think 4x longer.
How long does it take to get used to a new way of learning! More than 3 weeks.
I do a student centered model of teaching. I found this research article years ago that helped me and my students so much.
When you go from a traditional model of teaching to non traditional you go through the 8 stages of grief.
Except you’re also being thrown into this and so are the parents. It’s a hot mess.
Constraints Breed Creativity
If a parent is working… How much time can they monitor and support their child?
I have 5 kids. How much time can I monitor and support each one? And mind you I am a teacher with a master’s degree. My husband is a teacher with a master’s degree. What about families that aren’t equipped to step into our shoes? Even if they are .. are they struggling like I am?
So I recommend at most 90 minutes a day of remote learning. Total, all subjects. And add some grace on top of that. Now, with this constraint… How will you make those 90 minutes count? Honestly .. what matters at a time like this? Graphing parabolas by hand is not it!!!
Choose wisely, what do your students really need from you right now?
- Provide choices.
- Provide grace.
- Provide conversations.
In the end we are all in this together. And it won’t be the curriculum that matters on the other side. CALL PARENTS ON THE PHONE. Ask them… Is this too much? Is it stressful?
Iterate, iterate, iterate. We are all making this up. Not one person knows what is the right thing to do for each family. So keep asking, keep listening, keep providing grace. Keep changing your mind.