This was the first week of remote learning…distance learning…virtual learning…whatever you want to call it. I call it “the first week without seeing my students as their teacher!” I can also call it “the hardest week I’ve had as a teacher.” Why is this so hard? Why has this been taking a toll on me? It’s simple…it’s the unknown and I feel like a part of me isn’t there.
This week was a week of trying to plan, organize, create, and then plan again. There were meetings to discuss what is the best avenue to meet the needs of our students, meet the needs of our families, meet the needs of our teachers. We had to look at the resources available. We had to see what resources were available to our families. We had to think of a plan of what do we do going forward. Do we continue with the curriculum or do we just ease into this remote learning by slowly adjusting students and families into this new world for them…and for me!
I chose the route of slowly introducing activities. I want to be sure that my students are not overwhelmed. I’m also seeing where they are at and what process works best. As this first week is wrapping up, I’m seeing where students are having challenges and I’ m also seeing where they are doing great things. They have taken this situation and, for the most part, have made it the best situation possible. I’m so proud of them!
I’m planning on adding more to the “lessons” I’m giving them. I bought a whiteboard and I plan on recording classes. I plan on connecting to each student in some way throughout our remote learning. I cannot and will not leave these students behind me.
I’m so thankful for the supportive families of my students. They have been so patient and understanding throughout all of this. I’m so blessed to be in this great community. I know that there were a few, actually many, bumps in the road this first week, yet we made it through. I’m seeing where we can improve and I know we will improve. We will make this happen!
Next week is coming and it is still filled with a bunch of unknowns. Yes, we know that we will be using Google Classroom. We know assignments will be coming and will be added throughout the week, but we don’t know what the future holds. One thing I do know about the future is that when I see my amazing 28 students in the future there will be tears and hugs all around! It’s been 1 week and I’m still terribly missing my students. I will never, ever take for granted a moment I share with my students.
As week 1 wraps up, all I can say is thank you to the families and I am asking for your patience. I know I made errors this week with the organizing of some assignments and the directions may not have been that clear, but I will try to make it better next week. I also want to thank my colleagues. Their ideas have been great and we have created what we feel is a great plan for our families.
Another group that I need to thank during this time is my Twitter professional learning network or family (PLF). A great resource for me has been the Teach Better Team. I have found a community of teachers that have truly taken it upon themselves to provide guidance and resources for educators. I also need to thank all the educators of this country. We have revamped he education system in about 72 hours to meet the needs of all of our students. In teaching, every student is our student. It doesn’t matter what school, district, or state. Teachers will do the best thing for each student. My focus is on the students that I work directly with each day, but educators around the country have shared more resources this week than I have ever seen in the past! I have been overwhelmed!
Lastly, this week I need to send a special thank you to my family, especially my wife. She’s been with me this entire week. She has seen my emotional stress, my emotional breakdowns, and she has been my greatest supporter. She is ready and willing to adjust her own schedule to help me reorganize a space to put my new “classroom.” She’s provided me with ideas and resources to give to my families. She’s been amazing and I couldn’t do this without her. I also want to thank my family that I only see through FaceTime now. I miss and love you all!
This week has been an emotional roller coaster but I know that we are all in this together…but separated by at least 6 feet! Social distancing is not the right phrase! It needs to be physical distancing! We still need to communicate. We still need to work together. We still need each other overall! When this is over, we are going to celebrate! We are going to see that distance truly will make us closer! Let’s get through this…for each other!