As this school year gets off to a start, many (if not all) of the educators I work with feel as though it is their first year of teaching all over again. Whether you have 30 years or 3 years in education, welcome to your FIRST year as an online teacher. Many of us have never been (or wanted to be) an online teacher. Unfortunately we didn’t have a choice, so here we are thrust into the world of online teaching and learning.
As a longtime proponent of educational technologies and digital citizenship, I found myself looking forward to making the best of a bad situation. Now is our chance to really harness the power of technology in education. I know there are many educators and families who hate having to be online. I acknowledge and respect that. This post is not about the pros and cons of online learning. We are here now, so let’s make the most of it.
My school has now completed its 2nd week of distance education. I have visited a number of our teachers in their virtual classrooms and I am very proud of all of them. And I am impressed at how well all of our students are doing in managing Zoom and learning new norms, especially our youngest students. I really shouldn’t be amazed that many of our students are handling distance learning rather well, they are what some would call “digital natives” and they have amazing families that support and guide them.
I find myself enjoying the opportunities this situation is creating where I can support my teachers and help them approach teaching in new ways. Distance education is taking me back to my tech coaching days and the days where I wanted to be an instructional technology teacher on assignment. I want to help as many educators as possible, not only those at my current site, but those I have worked with over my 20+ years as an educator. So with that being said, I will begin to share out some of the things I hope will help. Like my next post about creating a welcome screen for your virtual classroom.