After a weekend of prep, that made me feel like I was planning myself out of a job, distance learning began on Monday. Students had books, devices, internet connections. It looked good on my google classroom page that was set up with links to various learning opportunities. But, the reality was a different story.
There were technical issues. Blocked sites. Password and class code trouble.
There was a need to re-explain.
There were times my instructions needed correction.
There were students who didn’t show up, and students who struggled.
There were countless texts, emails, and phone calls to families and students.
There were students who could do the work.
There were students who needed small group and one-on-one help.
And, there was our first whole-class meeting on Zoom.
We met pets and siblings, saw bedroom posters and stuffed animals. As crazy as it was, it was a hit. With a little more management, Zoom meetings of various sizes could become the best way to learn electronically. Next week, we’ll do more.
My big takeaways from the week are not surprising. Social-emotional needs must be met. Always. Especially now, when kids are separated and their lives are turned upside down. Friendships and connections are first. Academics are secondary.