31 March 2020

The Magic Is You


It's quite the mass experiment happening right now with emergency remote learning. I am inspired by some of what I see posted on Twitter—teachers who are making the best they can out of a suboptimal situation for both themselves and students. I see some striking a balance between content, personal connection with students, and options for learning. And I know of some teachers who are struggling. A few haven't developed the tech skills necessary to navigate a fully online environment. Others are so married to their perception of school that they can't see learning happening any other way. But the ones who seem to be most averse to engaging at all are the ones who never developed positive relationships with students while they had the face-to-face option. The ones screaming the loudest about a lack of equity now in terms of access to learning were always the quietest ones before. It's not really about equity for them. It's just a convenient excuse to do nothing for everyone and claim that is equity.

So, when I saw this tweet from a previous year on this date (full list here), it made me think about this disconnect in our current context. If we've made an effort to build relationships with our students...if we've made the focus of our work together on learning (and not teaching)...then it will all be okay. We'll all come out the other side of this pandemic just fine. The magic doesn't come from the year you were born on whether or not you have a Chromebook at your house. There are all kinds of ways to communicate and connect and learn...even without the Internet. Families are going to figure that out in the coming weeks and months. They are going to expect different things of us when they finally return their children to our care and classrooms. I hope that we can learn enough of what we need from this experience, too.

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