To all the classroom teachers who read this,
I spent 8 years teaching students, grades 6-12, language arts in a traditional classroom setting before transitioning to an online teaching environment with graduate students. I recognize the difference between working with teens versus adult learners; however, the noticeable difference was my presence in the classroom. Classroom management still exists, usually through discussion boards and forums.
I’m not sure how your school district will handle moving your classes online, but I hope, even in the rush to produce content and upload course curriculum, that they recognize the importance of online learning. This is not a training where you log in and click a few buttons and maybe watch a video and you’re done. There’s a methodology behind online education, and scholar-practitioners have researched best practices for engaging students and scaffolding lessons. Faculty spend months developing courses before launching them for students, and your school district doesn’t have months to hire experienced online course designers capable of implementing learning modules that correlate with your current classroom objectives and planned activities.
So the weight of the responsibility falls upon you to succeed where others may flounder. You, dear classroom teacher, are unique in the way you devote your whole selves to the child and the content and the betterment of society. You are a role model, whether you know it and accept it or not.
Therefore, I want to offer two things to you in this time of transition.
First, my sincerest thanks for continuing to educate our youth. They are so valuable to our future.
Second, I am familiar with Blackboard, Brightspace, and Canvas. If your school district moves to one of these platforms, and you want to connect with me, I encourage you to reach out. Each platform has pros and cons, and there are tools within each that help connect you with your students.
I’m excited and hopeful at the idea that the children will still be educated, even as we must isolate ourselves and watch the world unfold through our monitors.