By Catherine Conley
I don’t know about you, but I find I’m working longer hours at home than I did at school. I didn’t gain the commuting time for myself; rather, it was poured right into the work day—and then some. Now I no longer seem to have the time to read for pleasure, something I used to do every day on the train. I no longer walk around my classroom all day, logging in some 7,000 steps before I even head out for my evening constitutional. Instead I sit down at my computer early in the morning and work till well after the time I would normally arrive home. My back is tired; my eyes are tired; my brain is tired. And there are still dishes in the sink, dinner to make, laundry to fold, and let’s not forget all the sanitizing we feel it necessary to complete. Those clearly defined hours are long and have become less productive as our work from home time has gone on.
Continue reading “The Importance of Taking Breaks While Teaching from Home”
By Christina Sagnella
Throughout this lockdown, school principals have been tested to keep the spirit of our schools alive, even without our school. We sit 10, 12, 14 hours on our computers these days, making sure everyone is safe, educated, connected, valued, heard, calmed, challenged, inspired, and loved. This is not just about our students. This is also very much about our staff.
This week, Teacher Appreciation Week, is when we make an extra effort to let our staff know how much we appreciate them and ALL that they do for their students, families, each other, our whole school –even for me! However, this year, I am particularly thankful to my staff for all that they have done to keep school going during the coronavirus pandemic, and all that they continue to do, even now that it’s May.
Continue reading “A Principal’s Thank You to Teachers”
By Ivannia Soto
I have just completed my fourth week of teaching college-level courses online. With each class session I have had to make new pedagogical shifts, which are as applicable in a K-12 online setting as they are in a higher-ed environment. I mostly teach preservice teachers at Whittier College, a small liberal arts college in Southern California, known (for better or worse) for being Richard Nixon’s alma mater. My specialization is second language acquisition and designing equitable environments for English language learners (ELLs) within school systems. Historically, ELLs in classrooms have been relegated to little or no classroom participation. ELLs have not been required, or oftentimes, expected to speak in the classroom setting. As I oftentimes remind my preservice teachers, the person talking the most is learning the most, so we must require all students to speak and be engaged in the classroom setting. I am taking this lesson to heart as I transition my own classrooms to an online setting, where students can easily become passive and disengaged, whether they are K-12 students or preservice teachers themselves.
Continue reading “Essential Pedagogical Shifts: Prioritizing Student Engagement and Self-Care during Lock-down”
By Mark Whipple
As an Instructional Technology Specialist in a suburban middle school south of Boston, MA, I was curious about the ways teachers might begin to use technology in our new and suddenly-online learning environment. The expectations coming from states, school systems and individual schools vary widely, and teachers’ level of experience and comfort with technology varies just as much. What techniques for in-person classroom teaching can be applied, and what new methods are needed? What are some approaches to meeting the needs of students when not physically with them? What do teachers need to do in terms of self-care to be present for their students?
Continue reading “Perspectives From the Field: Teachers Teaching Online”