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“Building an Airplane While it’s Flying”: Managing Expectations

Jennifer Leimberer, MCMI instructional coach

April 10, 2020

These past few weeks have been frustrating, inspirational, challenging, sad, humbling, intense, weird, isolating, unnerving, amazing, and ___________. (I will let you fill in any other descriptors that reflect your experience.) Social media has been filled with inspirational messages and comments that might set instruction back a few steps and some that will help the general population better appreciate the talents and dispositions of teachers.

There have been a few that have guided and inspired our team during these past few weeks of crisis.

  1. In his March 24th blog, “We’re Only Getting Out of This Together”  Dan Meyer described two hopes: 
  2. Give students something interesting to think about. Hopefully mathematical, but maybe not. Hopefully towards grade-level objectives, but let’s be realistic about the stresses faced by students, teachers, and parents here. (Remembering also how many people cross more than one of those categories.)
  3. Make connections. I encouraged the group to make connections from teacher to student, from student to student, and from student ideas to other interesting ideas.
  4. Edutopia featured experienced distance learning teacher, Kareen Farah in the article, 4 Tips for Teachers Shifting to Teaching Online:
  5. Simplicity is Key
  6. Establish a Digital Home Base
  7. Prioritize Longer, Student-Driven Assignments
  8. Individual Touch Points Are Game-Changers
  • On March 31st, Larry Ferlazzo shared a video: 7 Tips for Remote Teaching:
  • Give lots of feedback, as loving as possible rather than giving grades.
  • Lead with love, not with lessons.
  • Minimize synchronized learning.
  • This is not a one-size fits all situation.
  • Spend time in individual interactions as often as is humanly possible.
  • Keep things simple. “Think about what you want to accomplish and cut it in half.”
  • Offer grace. “Assume everyone is trying their best.”

What has inspired you? What has guided you? What has sustained you?

2020-04-13T14:06:21-05:00 April 13th, 2020|COVID-19 Distance Learning|