This is not the way any of us would have imagined the last weeks of school. Shuttering schools has caused families all around the world tremendous hardship as we all are doing our best to protect health, manage finances, balance schedules, and grieve loss of events/milestones/face-to-face interactions as well as loss of loved ones.
And this temporary shift has started to become a new worry for how we will do school for 2020-21. Many state departments and ministries of education already are asking local officials to develop flexible plans for scheduling learning to support social distancing as well as possible remote learning based on health data trends of COVID19 and flu season.
As educators, school leaders, and family members … we all did the best we could managing this first wave. It caught us by surprise. This is an exhausting climb to embark on for an already weary school faculty, yet what we do know is that we have to grapple with teaching and learning experiences for next year right now.
- We can examine and pare down existing curriculum documents to focus on critical content and skills for the entire course, perhaps weeding out 30-50% of coverage.
- We can rework the order of units to take advantage of likely windows when we have our students (onsite and virtual).
- We can retell the story of our course curriculum by making creative choices to:
- Frame compelling questions and clarify learning goals;
- Design meaningful assessments that require them to investigate, examine, create, and demonstrate; and
- Develop learning modules (“Week at a Glance”) to clarify expectations, assignments, and support.
- We can plan to develop students’ autonomy by modeling and providing feedback on how to manage goal-setting, schedule time, engage with others in and out of school.
- We can seek out stories from students on how they made sense of their time at home — shifts in perspective, curiosities they pursued, challenges they faced.
- We can help students design ways to document and reflect on their work over time (e.g. portfolios).
Blogposts that speak to this challenge:
From Mike Fisher: 7 Questions to Ask in Our Transition Plans
From Eric Chagala, Aaron Roberts, and Allison Zmuda: Are You Up for a Design Challenge?
From Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Allison Zmuda:
- We Didn’t Sign Up for This! 9 Lessons Learned from a Hong Kong Principal on Facing a Crisis
- Part 1 of 4-part series: How Will We Return to School? Curriculum Choices in the Face of COVID19
- Part 2 of 4-part series: Building the Future Now: Deciding What to Cut, What to Keep and What to Create
From Bena Kallick and Giselle Martin-Kniep: When and how civic discourse can define action
We are so appreciative of the many ideas that you have been sending to us. We will be pulling them together and sending out in another newsletter.
LinkedIn: Bena Kallick
LinkedIn: Allison Zmuda