So, I had a couple of these written concerning things like education and the 2020 election, government and education, the need to reassess everything, and then… COVID-19. Therefore, I put the other ramblings in a folder that I will never be able to find again (lucky for you), and have been thinking about the one thing that is on all educators’ minds – alternative delivery. We’ll get to that topic shortly. I’m sure that many of you are also worried about your students and their families – are they safe, do they have enough food, etc. Those, honestly, are much more relevant questions, and ones that even I (a college professor) am having. I hope that your school districts and your communities are able to address some of these concerns. I know that many students rely on their teachers for stability, care, and compassion. I feel that it is important that we remain in contact with the students as individuals. Fortunately, this did not occur in September, when we are just getting acquainted with a new batch of students – we know our students, their personalities, their needs. So, here is a short (maybe long, I’m winging it) list of things –
- 1. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF – from what is known about this virus, you are more likely than your students to get sick, really sick. Sleep, exercise, be good to yourself. Wash your fricking hands.
- 2. Keep a journal and have your students do the same – this is coming from someone who HATES journaling. At the end of the day (after a glass or two of your preferred beverage – you not your students) write things down – thoughts, ideas, feelings, concerns. Be aware that your students have written some of the same things you have.
- 3. Review your journal – seriously. Be aware of how you are progressing (or digressing). Again, this comes from someone who HATES journaling, and hates reviewing his own writings even more.
- 4. Be realistic – this is both in what you can do and in what you are expecting of your students.
- 5. Help each other – this should go without saying. But, many educators are now trying to put together materials for their students using methods that many have not employed previously. Work together.
- 6. Be aware of what your students are going to take away from this adventure – at the end of this, when you see them as a class again, what will they remember most about
- 7. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!!
As you use already prepared materials or prepare your own materials, please keep good notes on what you use, how you use it, did it produce the results you wanted, what would you do next time. I think it is important that we, as educators, have a location where resources are compiled – and that these resources are searchable and have been reviewed by other educators. More on this topic later…
- Rick Farrer