Rāmere, te 24 o Paengawhāwhā, 2020
We don’t like to make sweeping generalisations or hyperbolic statements. But this must be, by far, the most unusual start to term any of us has ever experienced. Even though we talked about distance learning and hypothetically planned for it, we could never have predicted the whole scale shutting down of life as we know it. But here we are, and by all accounts, people seem to be bubbling along in their own creative and unique ways.
Students have been asking when we will get back to normal. The stock answer seems to be, what’s normal? We are possibly a long way off anything that looks ‘normal’ in a school setting. In addition, there is no instruction manual for this. We are all learning how to do this emergency distance learning thing together. But there are some basic ideas that we might all agree on. According to Harry Fletcher-Wood, an expert on distance learning, he says KEEP IT SIMPLE. Follow these three rules:
- Form good habits. It might mean checking in with your students for the first 10 minutes of a lesson, and then expecting them to get started on the task. Do this a couple of times until it becomes a habit. Develop habits that are practical and work for you and your students
- Stick to a routine. It might not be the normal school routine, but if possible, that would be great. Predictable routine and boundaries set positive expectations.
- Maintain social norms for your students and for you and your colleagues Where possible, hold virtual classes or meetings. Looking at social media, Friday 4pm is a nationwide virtual happy hour. This gives you a great excuse to shut your door and talk to someone outside of your bubble. We held a meeting the other day where the teacher was calling from his tool shed! He does have three children under 5 years of age, so it’s understandable. And that’s if you have anyone in your bubble in the first place which makes virtual contact even more important.
In order to keep things simple, we asked what our teachers had been up to over the last few weeks, tucked away in their bubbles. We were overwhelmed with the response. So instead of adding a whole lot more words, we’ve put their projects onto these mood boards for you to admire and enjoy. Thank you to all that sent submissions in. We will continue to collect photos of your autumn projects to both inspire and admire.
Thank you once again to all that contributed to these mood boards. We’d love to share more of what our teachers have been up to. Please send photos through to firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, congratulations to Cathy and James on the birth of little Lucy. Love and aroha to your bubble from ours.