Kelly's children, Madeline and William, excited for the first day of school!
School is Back in Session, Now What?
The virtual train has left the station. School is in session. At our household, our son entered virtual kindergarten, our daughter moved into virtual second grade, and my husband started his 22nd year of teaching, now fully online. The start of the school year evoked many emotions: excitement for the new year; anxiety for how full-day school will work online; fear that our young kids will fall behind and not be able to pay attention and learn; relief that this day is finally here so we can accept our reality and attempt a new routine; dread for working full time and supporting kids in school; or for my husband, teaching virtually full time and hoping he makes an impact that he knows he can make in person; and, finally, happiness that we can still wear our work mullet (business clothes up top, shorts or yoga pants on the bottom).
There are so many different versions of how kids nationwide returned to school, and so many lessons learned on what is and what isn’t working as we operate as test subjects for learning in 2020. I imagine there will be several studies and dissertations on this topic in the future. As parents and educators, our vocabulary has increased. How many times did you think you would say, or hear, the words asynchronous, synchronous, virtual, hybrid, in person, Zoom? As teachers, how many times are you reminding students to mute themselves when they are not talking and unmute themselves when it’s their turn?
Check Out Our Free Online Professional Development for Teachers and School Staff
At Share My Lesson, we will continue to update our resources and offer webinars with free online professional development for teachers to support this new environment—no matter what school model you are following. Our fall webinar series kicks off with an important symposium moderated by AFT President Randi Weingarten: “Teaching in the Time of COVID-19: Keeping Students Safe, Well and Engaged Online.” This 2 1/2-hour symposium will cover remote learning and safe in-person learning strategies with three panels on teaching and reaching the whole child, health and safety in school buildings, and engaging practices for teaching and learning remotely. If you cannot join live, the symposium will be available on demand.
And starting next Thursday, Sept.17 (Constitution Day), we continue our fall Thursday webinar series focused on civics, the election, current events and, yes, distance learning. Our first three webinars cover topics on:
- Police in Schools: What the Data and Research Say and What You Need to Know, with the Education Civil Rights Alliance and the 2010 New Jersey Teacher of the Year.
- Defenders of Human Rights and Democracy in Your Community, featuring AFT President Randi Weingarten, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy, and NAACP President Derrick Johnson.
- PBS Teacher Planning for New School Routines, with resources from PBS LearningMedia
We’ve also assembled the top on-demand webinars to support distance learning featuring incredible sessions on distance learning and hybrid models, mental health and social emotional learning, supporting students with disabilities and English language learners remotely, and building community remotely.
Our distance learning community has the best resources for parents and educators covering topics on reopening, tips on distance learning, and a discussion board to share ideas and get advice. We continue to update this community and share best practices. Be sure to join.
From all of us at Share My Lesson, we wish you a safe, healthy and successful return to school however that looks to you. All aboard!
Find hours of free online professional development for teachers at Share My Lesson Webinars.