“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.
- In his March 24th blog, “We’re Only Getting Out of This Together” Dan Meyer described two hopes:
- 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.)
- 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.
- Edutopia featured experienced distance learning teacher, Kareen Farah in the article, 4 Tips for Teachers Shifting to Teaching Online:
- Simplicity is Key
- Establish a Digital Home Base
- Prioritize Longer, Student-Driven Assignments
- 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?