I am going to be real for this distance learning post! People have asked me this question or variations on it a few times recently – “Now that you have been distance learning, do you feel prepared to remote teach in the fall if this happens again or if you don’t go back?”
How can anybody answer this question, honestly? Prepared!?
Distance Learning – A Look Back
First, with this round of distance learning, we went out in March. At that point, relationships with our students and their families had already been created. The kids knew me and I knew them. The families knew me and I knew them. I had already earned their trust and respect, and they had earned mine. Yes, I said earned because nobody just gets trust and respect – it’s earned.
Second, my students knew my expectations. By March they had been doing things a certain way all year. They knew what was acceptable and what wasn’t and how they should act. They knew how I felt about them as learners and they had already experienced my classroom culture.
Distance Learning – What Would It Look Like Next Year?
Now, let’s fast forward to the fall for the school year 2020/2021. If we don’t get back into the classroom at all, those new students don’t know me and I don’t know them. Their families don’t know me, and I don’t know them. They don’t know my classroom culture. This set of students hasn’t earned my respect and I haven’t earned theirs. I don’t know what they know and what they don’t. I don’t know their work ethics, backgrounds, etc.
So, can we be prepared for all of this if it happens again? No! Distance learning so far has prepared me to be betting with the tech side of teaching. It’s also prepared me for what materials to best use while remote teaching and how to balance (or try to balance!) my home and school life.
So yes, I am prepared for the platform. Yes, I am prepared for the technological aspect. And yes, I am prepared for the materials. But am I better prepared for the task of teaching a brand new class in the fall virtually? In all, honesty – no!!! Are you?
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
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 4
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 5
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 6
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 7
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 8
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.