Sunday, April 5, 2020

Positivity During COVID-19

I want to take a moment to speak to all of the parents and students stressing out about what things look like right now. I want to take a moment to mention some articles that have been shared with me as a professional, as a teacher. Some items from students and parents about where we are right now. I think the goal is for us teachers to understand where our students minds are and what its like for the parents at home. While most of them are pleas that we understand them I don’t feel like most of the articles, videos, and pictures are positive. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has made it a point over that past week to share positive and inspirational videos at the beginning and end of his daily press conferences. THOSE are the videos we need right now.

Re: High School Seniors
One thing that was shared with me was from a senior student perspective — a video where the student expressed all the things that were going to be different and how sad it was that they may miss out on things like graduation, spring sports, and prom. Trust me, I recognize how sad this can be. What about me — the parent that didn’t get to walk with my student on senior day across the field? I didn’t get that moment either and that’s important to us parents to get to share that pride and commitment our students had as student athletes. 
I have also seen a drawing of a student in a cap and gown and mask across her face crying. While my heart is sad for these students not having these traditional ceremonies available to them at this time I feel like we have a different role than just understanding their pain. 
Of course don’t dismiss their pain but our goal should be to celebrate in a different way — to share positivity and to encourage them to connect with and celebrate in a different way!
To be honest I have seen some really cool and unique ways that students are connecting not only do many households have zoom meetings going on with teachers but students are connecting with each other via different types of meetings including FaceTime, Discord, Twitch, and their own Zoom meetings. Some schools’ big events have been cancelled, other places are postponing but please encourage your kids/students to see beyond what they are missing out on help them see the opportunities to do something new. To create something new, to be a change, to give back!

Re: Parents Role in Online Education
Something else shared with me as a professional was an editorial article from the parent perspective about not being able to do the Zoom meeting, or not being able to upload an assignment. We as teachers were asked to “lay off”. I want to give another perspective. The Zoom meeting should be optional and deadlines should be loose as in no punishments for late work. In my opinion assignments should be open-ended with more room than ever for choice and creativity BUT we should still be having classes and deadlines even if loose. 
Why? Because kids thrive on some structure, some kind of normalcy even if the guidelines are loose. Kids thrive on some kind of expectations that they contribute at home and in their education. 
A student messaged me Friday asking about details I posted in my online classroom as a resource, not an assignment. The student said, “my mom said to ask about this because it would be a good use of my time.” 
Think about it guys!!! Some parents are overwhelmed while other parents are so glad that their kid is at home. Some parents are appreciating the opportunity to check-in and enrichment activities to keep their children occupied. 
Once again on the positive angle. Teachers please don’t have strict deadlines and big expectations but please continue to offer a spirit of learning and a positive outlet for students to engage in new experiences. 
We are here to offer normalcy not judgement.

Re: Teachers have an opportunity

Hello today I wanted to reach out to all my fellow teachers.

I want to say that over the last couple of weeks of online learning and for some of us it just started last week depending on whether you are on spring break already. Some of us in other states have been doing this online learning for weeks.

And I just kind of want to reach out to you as a tech teacher and make a plea.

My plea is is to relax and enjoy this! See this is an opportunity - for many teachers they have had goals to implement
more technology in their classroom and sometimes they feed in small bits of Technology but this is your opportunity to really
look at some different programs and see some things that you might want to use in the future, learn about some ways that you can connect with students for example hopefully we never have to do something like this again we're all of our classes are moved to online.

However maybe you have a student who has had to go through some surgery and that student could really benefit from some of the tools you're picking up from today and now and then in the weeks to come.

To deliver online content those students that may not be able to be in your classroom even when it's just one or two of them.

So I just want you to really see this as an opportunity! Some of you may not realize here in the state of Ohio where I teach there have there are standards technology standards (linked below) and like the new social emotional standards and just like reading standards even if you're not a technology teacher the technology standards were designed to be across the curriculum.

Meaning that me as a computer technology teacher will focus more on the computer science standards and all teachers would be incorporating those technology or computer technology standards across the curriculum.

And so this is an opportunity for you to be able to do that for you to be able to kind of test out some different things and incorporate some new standards because we're not worried at least in the state of Ohio about our spring test so it gives us a lot of flexibility to try something new

And to just really encourage our students to form their own learning.


Please take this as an opportunity.

And let me know if there's anything I could do to assist you and incorporating technology in your classroom as we progress with this online learning