A colleague described her first week of remote teaching this Fall as "*mostly* successful chaos." Yes! Is your school year off to a somewhat chaotic start? Is it at least partially successful? How are you defining success, these days?
One measure of success is using available tools effectively to deal with the variety of teaching situations you may find yourself in. Teachers benefitted from the ELA course that ran in September, ELA Online Instructional Strategies. (Please let us know if you are interested in a repeat offering.) Starting on 10/22, up your ELA-related tech skills with the self-paced Hoonuit for Online Tools (Video Tutorials). Learn from experienced teacher Marie LeBlanc in History and Science Made Memorable Through Multimedia, a 6-week online course that starts on 10/23.
Dealing with unfamiliar gadgets, new ways of interacting online, and the stress and trauma from everything that’s going on affects the ability to focus and learn, so we need to keep it simple. For our sakes, as well as for our students.
What are some essentials to focus on?
- Reading levels: It is still critical to diagnostically assess the reading levels of your students and to use that assessment when assigning readings and designing lessons, even online or via mailed packets. Register for EBRI: Diagnostic Assessments of Reading, which starts on 11/2 and runs through 12/18. This course is also the prerequisite for all other Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (EBRI) PD.
- Essential Components of Reading: Support your students in accessing the information coming at us all with evidence-based instruction in the essential components of reading: Alphabetics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. Teachers of readers at GLE 0-3.9: register for EBRI: Alphabetics, which starts 12/7. Teachers of readers at GLE 4-8.9: register for STAR by contacting Merilee Freeman (email@example.com), which starts 11/5. Other EBRI PD is scheduled for 2021.
- Communication skills: It is still vital for students to be able to communicate clearly, and writing is an essential communication tool. Register for the series on Evidence-Based Writing Strategies, starting with Evidence-Based Writing Strategies: Pre-Writing & Organizing on 11/4.
- Connections: Personal connections are ever more critical in this time of remote learning, electronic communication, and heightened awareness of existing inequities exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic and various responses. Who are the people behind those screens, those statistics, those notes in a file?
- How to connect, remotely? Facing History & Ourselves has resources for forging connections in remote classrooms, as well as on topics such as Contracting for Remote Learning and Fostering Civil Discourse: How Do We Talk About Issues That Matter?
- Who are you connecting to? To better understand some of the complexities of our students (and ourselves), consider Introduction to Learning Disabilities in Adults (Online, Self-Paced), which started 10/13.
- Connect through culturally responsive practices: Dive into Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally & Historically Responsive Adult Education on 11/17, offered jointly by the C&I PD Centers.
So, what does success look and feel like these days? Maybe it’s action instead of a state of being. Maybe, success happens one step at a time. We'll support you and celebrate your successes with you along the way. Here’s to the journey.