First, it was, “Phew, Day 1 is a wrap.”
Now it is, “Ok, Week 1 is a wrap.”
Let the pondering begin.
What worked, what didn’t? What can we tweak? What should we ditch? Where did we go right? Where did we go wrong? What surprised us? What were those hidden benefits to distance learning? Those little things we never saw coming? How can we feel good about this BIG turn of events?
For one thing, independence. Like, duh, yeah, send them all home with their Chromebooks and they are going to have to be independent.
Nope, not exactly what I mean. It’s a different kind of independence. One I didn’t see coming. One we can use to our benefit. To our students’ benefit.
Independence of thought.
Independence in problem solving.
Independence in thinking.
I wasn’t there with my kids and I can only piece together what it was like where they physically were. But I’m pretty sure they didn’t have one adult dedicated to helping them (and their classmates) figure out how to navigate the challenges of their day. I’m pretty sure they had to get creative and figure things out for themselves. Maybe they reached out to a classmate via Classroom and asked them the question. The question that helped them move to the next step in their quest. Not, “I don’t understand,” which can be a go to question in the classroom. But a pointed and direct question. A question whose answer led to results. That’s independence!
Maybe they reached out to me, again via one of our Classroom feeds, with their question. And maybe, just maybe, together we realized this was a problem that others would also have. Now they become the other half of the teacher’s trouble shooting attempt. Because their question exposed a problem and now they are part of the solution to that problem. Working along with the teacher, who they can only communicate with by typing responses and reading requests. That’s independence!
Suddenly the children have become far more active thinkers. And they are certainly working harder for their answers. Because that person they rely on, the teacher, is there, but not there. She is on the same learning curve (maybe a little ahead!) and that puts everyone on the same playing field. Kind of makes a kid feel pretty good about themselves at the end of the day. At the end of the week. Kind of makes independence an achievable goal.
I look forward to Week 2. Like the second week of any school year, it’s always a good feeling to get that first week done. Because Week 2 is when the learning begins to soar. And we all have a lot to learn!
Let’s get this adventure on the road!