COVID19 has impacted our professional lives significantly. Many things we would just do as second nature- looking over a student’s shoulder at their work, sitting next to them to give quiet feedback and support, circulating our classrooms all now require second thoughts and even a mental COVID risk assessment. With national lockdowns imminent (as of midnight now!), our reliance on technology to support us in teaching online is more important than ever.
Modes and strategies for teaching have shifted significantly in the past 9 months or so. Within a very short period of time, we have been expected to attempt to replicate the classroom experience online, with limited training or time for preparation. A real sink or swim moment!
I think it’s fair to say that as we were thrown (quite literally) into the deep end of teaching remotely back in March, colleagues who haven’t had experience of teaching online before (unsurprisingly) found this a daunting prospect. It’s very different to teaching face-to-face and many colleagues returning from maternity leave or starting in a new school after Christmas will certainly feel these pressures.
There are key questions to ask as a leadership team- what are we really trying to achieve with our blended/online teaching ? Are we trying to truly replicate the experience of being in a classroom or will our expectations of what a normal lesson will ‘feel’ like need to shift into new territory?
There are futher questions to pose too: there’s so much talk about what will happen when we ‘return to normal’. Thinking that the current way of conducting our professional lives is only temporary is perhaps what is getting many colleagues through. But some of these changes (and challenges) will remain long after COVID. The question is how well-equipped schools are to cope with this.
Will our wider views of teaching remain the same in the next year or so? Will teaching look the same, post-pandemic?
What will we have learnt about the benefits that technology can have on our practice that we can continue to improve? We have always known that teaching using technology can serve to enhance teaching and learning, but what about if it was now completely reliant on it?
In asking these questions, we undoubtedly open a very big can of worms that force us to critically evaluate the fundamentals of what we do in our classrooms and our schools. Perhaps that’s where the best change takes place. Maybe there’s actually something liberating about having to mute all the noise and start again, to remove the distractions and extra ‘stuff’.
There’s lots to think about, but in the meantime, here are s collection of resources and ‘how to’ videos, shown through some possible models for implementation.
I hope you find them useful and all the very best for the coming months.
Download the editable document for free here:
Possible Models for Implementation for Live Sessions
Here are some screenshots of the document: