Teaching is very challenging under “normal” circumstances. It’s not just about the facts and procedures but also the key concepts and understandings of the interrelationships of our world and having a “teacher tool kit” of strategies gained from experience and training from which to draw to help students negotiate that learning.
Teachers make an incredible number of decisions each day – over 1500 just during the typical six-hour school day (not counting planning or extra-curricular activities). For example:
• Differentiating learning to the needs of the students.
• Remembering the components of the lesson as one is teaching it and using the correct pacing for learning.
• At the same time, scanning the students to see if they are “getting it” or if a lesson adjustment is needed. What adjustment would be most effective?
• If a couple of students are talking, is it relevant to the lesson? Should it be ignored? Should there be a redirect? Should there be another intervention?
• Is a student not engaging? Why? Physical issues? Behavioral issues? Family issues? Social-emotional issues? How to address it?
The sudden switch from in-place learning to online learning has created a whole new set of challenges, including learning the technology and strategies needed to make that happen. It’s an ongoing process, to keep our students learning, and not without some bumps along the way. Perhaps a plus side of this COVID-19 experience is a different perspective and value as to what teachers do and the complexities involved.
The educational experience that we want for our students is multifaceted – academics, our Global Outcomes, the arts, extra-curricular activities – all being addressed by our teachers. We, at Estes Park Education Foundation, want to convey how very much we appreciate our teachers and all that they do to create the quality educational experiences for our students – not just this week but all the time! Kudos to you all!
The Board of Directors
Estes Park Education Foundation