Week 4, Post 1
Google Classroom has been my go-to. From March 2020 to June 2020, we were told by our admin team to have a google classroom set up and ready for the students to access. We were going to be teaching from home and unsure of how long this was going to last. Since it was supplementary learning, provincially mandated, I'm not certain many kids (or teachers) took it seriously. Maybe they were happy that they didn't have to worry about walking to school in slush, have winter clothes for the morning and summer clothes for the afternoon, or maybe they just felt indifferent. Without formal training on Google Classroom, we were learning on the fly, adjusting to our new normal and dealing with the looming pandemic. The 2020/21 school year brought different challenges. We wondered if this was what we were expected to do for the rest of our careers, how effective this was. We adjusted the semester system to quints, had half a class every other day and were clinging to hope, looking for a reprieve.
This was a perfect time to review my teaching, assessment and evaluate some of the content I used and updated for blended and online learning. I was able to prioritize and rearrange the important and less important things, knowing I had much less time to cover the essentials.
Over the past few semesters, I took ECI834 from Alec and now 833 from Katia. These courses allowed me to be a better teacher, carrying on into the fall. I can actively seek feedback and understand what's working, what isn't and what needs a little tweak. This is for the students, and I need to keep that at the forefront. I need to ensure the kids are engaged, motivated and understanding the key concepts.
I hope I'm not the only one, but I found it difficult to keep the kids motivated to learn, especially with the number of options that some have at their disposal.
We need to be better at finding things that hook them and hold their attention, more than just the catchy Kahoot! jingle.
Ideally, we will be back at school in September with regular face to face learning, but with a greater sense of urgency and emphasis on making ourselves better teachers, with new tools in the toolbox.
In my PE world at Balfour, I can see how it impacts students who aren't athletically gifted (or inclined for that matter). I have the ability to adapt and empathize with EAL learners, students with hearing or vision impairments that may prevent full participation in my classes.
7/27/2021 08:44:35 am
7/27/2021 09:28:24 am
I really appreciated your thoughtful reflection of the past 16 months, the challenges that came along with the Pandemic, but also best practice you will continue to use when we define a "new normal". My biggest wish from this past 16 months is just that- that we take time to see what worked from "before" times and reincorporate it, while also letting go of things that no longer serve us and adopt some practices that worked during this zany year! Here's to finding that space where we create the utopian learning environment- maybe that's a bit too optimistic. . . here's to trying to find that balance! Have a great rest of your summer! It was awesome learning alongside you.
Darcy, it sounds like you have done a lot of reflection about your online learning experience. I think motivation was a tricky thing this year, because of everything else going on. With the constant worry of COVID positive cases in the classroom, to wondering if we were going to go online or not, and for how long, was really weighing on a lot of people not to mention some of the kiddos home lives were not great either. In a 'normal' year I would worry about motivation, however this year, I knew that there were far too many other factors at play to really worry about the overall motivation for online school learning. I think that students were doing a lot of other learning this year, and that it was equally important. Going forward though, I think that we do need to take into account what worked prior to online teaching, during online teaching and after online teaching and mesh them together to make best practices work. Things that may have worked before online learning or during, may not work after too. I think that's all okay, but I think that we need to continually evolve and adapt our strategies to fit our classrooms, and what may work for one class that day may not work for another. Thanks for sharing!
7/27/2021 11:38:03 am
I love that you said the catchy Kahoot jingle. I'm excited to try out Blooket this year as an alternative to Kahoot. It will be interesting to see if they are as into it as the they are Kahoot!
7/27/2021 12:05:04 pm
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