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Distance Learning unpopular opinion, Part II

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Distance Learning unpopular opinion, Part II
Old 03-31-2020, 11:05 AM
 
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MsBTexas had a post about an Unpopular Opinion about missing the kids...

Here is my Unpopular Opinion... We are doing too much! Even if we are in a District doing very little.

But, especially those doing all-day schedules and online meetings.

This is an extraordinary circumstance! People are in upheaval. Lives are at risk. People are without or low on basic necessities. Not all students have the support at home to access "Distance learning." I am not referring to devices and the internet only.

Older kids are caring for younger kids. Data and the internet are limited. Parents are stressed. There are teachers and MANY others working from home that cannot do their jobs and care for their kids and/or elderly both. People are stressed.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs says Basic Safety needs to be met before learning is a priority. This is still true--especially true now.

I am sending the minimum worksheets I can. Just enough to say I am. I am sending encouragement to do things together, IDEAS or SUGGESTIONS for at-home activities, outside activities,etc. and I tell them I will not collect, review, or require these activities. I remind them they are suggested or optional only-to pick and choose the ones they want to do.

Okay, off the soapbox now. Thank you for listening.


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Old 03-31-2020, 11:33 AM
 
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We have been told to definitely worry more about emotional and physical needs of our students first. Minimal academics. I have a daily check in and 7 math review questions. Thatís it for my 5th grade math. They have access to some computer programs and I give the option of a weekly challenge (escape room). Some of this stuff is way over the top.
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Old 03-31-2020, 12:13 PM
 
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It's a tough call. As a parent, I'm wondering the impact this will have on my almost-graduated high school children in terms of future education. I think I would have really different thoughts about this experience if I had younger children (in many ways).

I think structure is important, even in times like this (maybe especially in times like this). But what is currently going on is really taxing all sides of this situation.
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Old 03-31-2020, 12:28 PM
 
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People have gone off the deep end. I really wish our governor would just call off school for the year. Just end it completely. We are NOT set up for this and families have more pressing concerns. The ones that are capable of providing structure for their children will still do it. The divide will grow even bigger. But when schools reopen we'll just pick up where we left off.

I feel more like IT support than a teacher. I've spent countless hours for the past 2 weeks trying to get families connected. I'm translating texts into Spanish and trying to troubleshoot technology I've never seen.

And the whole time I'm worried about putting additional stress on families while also feeling like I'm being judged for not doing enough.
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Old 03-31-2020, 12:43 PM
 
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Quote:
And the whole time I'm worried about putting additional stress on families while also feeling like I'm being judged for not doing enough.


Same! This is so stressful. I wasn't trained to be an online teacher. Parents are already stressed out with just packets of work, and there's pressure from "up top" for teachers to do even more. Stop the madness! I think there needs to be something (adds some structure for those who can, keep up the learning for those who are able, etc.), but keep it low key, the basics. We're going to need to do lots of review next year anyway because no matter how much we do, there are students who will not be able to access/do the work for a host of reasons.


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Old 03-31-2020, 12:55 PM
 
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I totally agree. Teachers are trying platforms theyíve never used, trying to recreate a 6-7 hour day which is impossible, and assigning things like group projects, trying to do guided reading and research papers. Just stop. Take a breath. Remember many parents have multiple kids and jobs of their own and limited resources.

Take a step back and a breath. You wonít to everything. Itís fine. I got lit up because I told a teacher 8 assignments in one day was unreasonable.

People have lost their freaking minds.
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:39 PM
 
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Exactly!!!!!!!!!!
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My Thoughts
Old 03-31-2020, 01:56 PM
 
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We are doing too much! Even if we are in a District doing very little.

But, especially those doing all-day schedules and online meetings.
I agree! The place I left is requiring teachers to be online during contract hours and during contract hours, require them to respond to e-mails within 20 minutes. My current school is requiring only 2 hours for teachers to be online, and still told parents no matter, to expect at least 24 hours before hearing back from teachers. Some of my colleagues are super stressed. To be honest, I'm not that stressed. Yes, there are questions I have. Yes, I get frustrated when I can't get technology to work the way I want it, but I can't control the situation and need to make the most of it.

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This is an extraordinary circumstance! People are in upheaval. Lives are at risk. People are without or low on basic necessities. Not all students have the support at home to access "Distance learning." I am not referring to devices and the internet only.

Older kids are caring for younger kids. Data and the internet are limited. Parents are stressed. There are teachers and MANY others working from home that cannot do their jobs and care for their kids and/or elderly both. People are stressed.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs says Basic Safety needs to be met before learning is a priority. This is still true--especially true now.

I am sending the minimum worksheets I can. Just enough to say I am. I am sending encouragement to do things together, IDEAS or SUGGESTIONS for at-home activities, outside activities,etc. and I tell them I will not collect, review, or require these activities. I remind them they are suggested or optional only-to pick and choose the ones they want to do.
I totally agree that these are unique, stressful circumstances. I totally understand that parents are stressed, kids are stressed, that we are all in a new way of learning and working. I understand that different families have different needs at this time, and I try to meet that need.

My school's expectations is 90 minutes of work a day for grades 3-5. We are not to do anything new, and we are not to grade work. I try to plan a little something for each subject we'd have that day, just like we would at school. When I add up/estimate the amount of work I assign, it comes out about 40-50 minutes. I figure then there is room for students who do take longer, it allows some time for technology lags or difficulties, provides them time to read for pleasure as well, provides them time to work on educational websites, etc.

My goal is that students will complete work by day. I know that won't work for all. When I miss an assignment, I'm very lenient. I send a message to the student in Google Classroom reminding them, but just saying to please try to get it to me as soon as they can. Most have been very good with that. A few parents have contacted me just to make sure their kids are doing their work. I'm totally flexible. I assign work by day, but I had a parent contact me saying that wasn't working for her family set up, as she was working from her home (single parent) and needed the computer, and her son was using the same computer. She was hoping I'd give her the work for the week on Monday and plan to get it from her son by the end of the week. I'm totally fine with that. It was more work on my part, but I did it because it works best for her family.

With that said, I am totally understanding when kids don't complete work right away, I understand these times are hard. I understand there is a learning curve with learning, teaching, working, and parenting in this time. However, regardless, I do think we need to use our own judgment. Be sympathetic, but be real too. Granted, it depends on your district/school's expectations, but if they are expecting kids to complete work, while I am still sympathetic and more lenient in these times, I do think there are some kids who will take advantage of it. We need to be cautious of that, too. So far, none of mine are taking advantage of the situation. I think they are all doing what they can in these circumstances. However, I am aware that some may push the limits when we are told that nothing is graded, and I am prepared and will, if need be, call a student on it comes to that.
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:58 PM
 
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So far, only eight of my kids have appeared in any of the online platforms we have set up. the others aren't even answering their phones. We're putting too much pressure on ourselves and the families who have other things on their minds.
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Maslow before Bloom
Old 03-31-2020, 03:17 PM
 
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That is a quote from my P. He praised us for how much we are providing, but now we are going to a streamlined schedule. Only 3 subjects a day. and just review for other subjects.

Heís so good at telling is to allow everyone grace, starting with ourselves. And he reminds us to take time to breathe!


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Old 03-31-2020, 04:01 PM
 
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Shoot, y'all, I'm SHOCKED by the number of kids who have participated in any of my online learning stuff. MOST of them have logged in and at least looked at the stuff and many of them/their parents (I'm teaching middle school) have emailed in completed assignments.
I've been asking very minimal stuff to do to be honest, thinking more along the lines for the parents and kids: if you are stressed and need your kid to do something independently, here are some assignments that can be done easily (and maybe get them out of your hair for a few minutes).
Every time I hear from them, I ask how they (kid/parent) are doing in this stressful time. As y''al have said, aint' no way I"m recreating a regular school day. These are difficult times. I'm emphasize that I miss them and am sorry that things are going like this.
My own DD is in high school. Aspects of her learning/year are hard but I figure we'll deal with stuff when we deal with them.
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I agree
Old 03-31-2020, 06:29 PM
 
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Shoot, y'all, I'm SHOCKED by the number of kids who have participated in any of my online learning stuff.
I agree. Most of mine have done things. The few times work hasn't been done, I think it was just overlooked because it was a good student who did all the work for the day except one thing. Or, it was a student who I know has parents who are working from home in a demanding job and life probably just got hectic for them. For the most part, all are doing what they can.
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Canít win
Old 03-31-2020, 07:06 PM
 
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I had one parent email me that it wasnít enough. Another said her daughter wouldnít do all of it. My principal wants us to keep up rigor. The p sent an email to parents telling them we would do once a week video chats. She just failed to tell the teachers we had to do that. One teacher is trying to keep things light and she got called out for it. My kids go to the school and I think itís too much work. I keep checking on them throughout the day to make sure theyíre working. Then I check emails and answer questions for parents. I teach first so parents ask questions. I keep telling parents to do what works for their family. If they donít get it finished please donít stress. Itís first grade. Theyíll be ok. I teach in a private school so p is worried that if we donít push parents will pull their kids out. Itís a big stressful mess. My oldest is in high school so add on a teenager who doesnít like online school and is pouting because she canít hang out with her friends and I may just lose my mind.
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:43 PM
 
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I totally agree. I've literally learned more new tech stuff in the past 2 days then I did in my entire 10 year career before this. Since I work with multiple grade levels I had to learn all of the apps and multiple platforms for posting assignments. Yesterday and today I got about 2 hours of sleep and didn't think to stop to eat anything until around 8-9 PM (and I love eating ).

My district is requiring almost a full day of learning between all of the different thing students are going to be using. We are 1:1, so a lot of the kids theoretically should be familiar with a lot of the tech being used, but we'll see. Our classrooms went "live" at 3 PM today and tomorrow is the first official day of online learning. I feel like it's going to way too much for most families when we consider parents may still be working, there are typically multiple children/age levels within the house, parents likely don't have the skills to help, etc. We were told to avoid assigning "parent work" and make it things kids could do 100% independently. I did the best I could but my kids are 5-8 years old. It is unrealistic to think that they can just sit down and do independent work all day.
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:25 AM
 
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My school has been relatively quiet until 2 days ago when they decided to wake up and join the club. Zoom meetings, updated websites weekly, Mon-Friday work posted (I just stuck something there for each day - I don't really care if an ungraded assignment isn't done on a certain day), lesson plans turned in by Fridays. Helllloooo....I know I'm an older mama but I still have a child under 10 at home and no other adult to help. I purposely stay at school later to get stuff like this done because she doesn't like to let me work at home and you want me to do what? Screw this year. I'm a non-tested subject and they'll learn about the last unit again in high school. Pffft.
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