The COVID-19 pandemic has completely altered our daily routines. How we buy groceries, how we work from home and how we find ways to do recreational activities. As a teacher I believe one of the largest groups this has affected is our students. Now that schools are shut down, are kids learning?
Shifting the entire structure for teaching onto an online learning platform seems like a daunting and incredibly difficult task. As time has passed with online learning, it’s been my experience that this pandemic has exacerbated certain issues that need to be addressed for students’ ability to learn and to get a quality education.
As online learning for students continues through the pandemic the school boards are also continuing to provide tools and technology to those in need. The great opportunity that has risen from this pandemic is the uncovering of inequity in learning. Despite these challenges, and the uncertainty of when schools will reopen, online learning has brought out unexpected and meaningful outcomes and opportunities.
I believe as a teacher it’s fair to say that educational professionals now know way more about technology than they did a few weeks ago. Zoom, Google Meet, and other video-based discussion forums have helped teachers connect with their students and each other. Embedding videos and chrome casting a lesson are now new skills in our toolbox. In addition, a large percentage of teachers have either created a personal website or enhanced their online presence in positive ways. Teachers are stepping up to the plate, and one incredible by-product of forced online learning has been creativity.
I would assert that parents want kids to return to classrooms. Home schooling may not be what they signed up for. Kids want to go back to school. They miss their friends. And teachers want to go back too. They know they can spread themselves out better and level the playing field for everyone by championing those that need the most help.
But there’s no mistaking it. Teachers have adapted to online learning and it’s been impressive. In the virtual classrooms I’ve visited, students are still doing presentations and group projects. Teachers are giving oral feedback to students and holding students accountable. And students are getting used to this new age of learning.
Regardless of when schools reopen, parents can be reassured. Teachers have got you covered.