I never thought in all of my 26 years of teaching that I would ever feel the way I do at this point in my career. In this new world of distance learning, challenging is a word that comes to mind, as well as frustrating. Are my kids watching? Are they participating? Are they learning? These are the questions I find myself pondering every time I load a video and an activity.
Challenges, Frustrations – and Surprises
I’ve found that the students who I expected to participate are often the ones who don’t. Surprisingly, many of the students who are actively engaging with distance learning are the students who I never thought would take this journey with me – but they are participating and they are doing it with excitement. They upload assignments daily and respond to my feedback.
As I said, distance learning has been both challenging and frustrating for me. The uncertainty of this process adds to those feelings. It’s as if you took a child who is just learning how to ride a bike and you expect them to drive a motorcycle.
But I also feel frustrated for my students’ parents. They are also in a situation where they are not prepared. Unlike educators who are getting some form of assistance, most parents are basically on their own. They are juggling their own lives – which for many are now in turmoil – and trying to help give their children some normalcy and education.
What’s Working When It Comes to Distance Learning
I have found that my students respond better to interactive lessons that include many manipulatives. I have been using some tools from from Really Good Stuff®, like the Portable Magnetic Dry Erase Easel, Magnetic Sight Words, and Jumbo Magnetic Draw And Write Dry Erase Sheet to accomplish this.
It is only week two and I am looking at this experience with the glass is half full mindset. It can only get better as we progress. I guess time will tell! Stay tuned.
Read more teacher tips for distance learning:
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 1
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 2
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 3
By Cindy Price
Cindy Price is a veteran teacher of 26 years. She has taught kindergarten for 19 years and first grade for seven years. She was born and raised in Massachusetts, but has taught in Florida, Georgia, and now Delaware.