Who would have thought that we would still teach in an epidemic? At the beginning of this school year, public school districts had to make important decisions about how to approach this school year. How will they keep the students safe? How will they engage students in learning? And, how will they support teachers in the process?
At St. Vraine Valley School in Longmont, Colorado, we acknowledge that we are teaching an epidemic, yet we still need to move students forward and help them grow. This is a delicate balance, especially as teachers cope with the pressures of changing landscapes and the desire to find their place with new educational challenges.
Before and especially now during epidemics, coaching has been an important aid in helping educators find balance and keep up the pace at which they are working. This gives them enough time and space in their classroom to think and process the learning that is happening every day.
For the rest of this school year and beyond, the following three coaching exercises will go a long way in supporting the ongoing success and well-being of teachers.
When we step back and think about the big changes in educators’ practice during the epidemic, one thing that stands out the most is the normalization of video. Teachers have never been involved in education to be sensitive to YouTube, but they are definitely challenged!
Because of covid and distance learning, many educators have jumped in and started creating digital content for their students so they can continue learning. If teachers didn’t make flipped videos, they were having live meetings with students through video platforms like Webex and Zoom.
You may ask, how does all this relate to coaching? More than a year ago when we asked teachers to submit a video clip of their classroom or teaching, it brought a lot of frustration or fear. But, now teachers are willing to capture video – it has become a part of their daily lives. This is where the Edathena tool has become invaluable in helping our educators improve their practice.