I have seen some of the BEST memes about distance learning the past few weeks. I am so proud of some of my mom friends (and dad friends) who are trying to juggle being EVERYTHING to everybody. I have laughed out loud at so many social media posts, and, honestly, some of you could switch careers and become comedians.
It is not lost on me that teaching is not for the faint of heart, you know, seeing how I did it myself for 22 years. But now I don’t! I could give you lots of advice, but honestly, you are doing just fine.
So I will just share a little story instead:
I was once a brand new teacher, and I had no idea what to do. Since I had done some subbing before getting hired full time, I did learn that when students are not engaged that’s when they get into trouble. So when I subbed, I had a little file full of extra assignments that were interesting and fun that I could pull out if the little munchkins finished early. And, trust me, they always finished early when there was a sub!
So you would think that I would have plenty up my sleeve on the first day of being a real teacher. I gave it a lot of thought, and I decided I would do a pre-test to see what the students already knew. By the time I went into the high school classroom for the first time I had been out of high school for nearly ten years. I had no idea what skill levels to expect. Plus, I had been a pretty good student when it came to English/Language Arts.
I prepared a lengthy pre-test plus, of course, the obligatory first day “What I Did Over Summer” writing assignment. The pre-test was mostly grammar, parts of speech, what’s wrong with this sentence questions. There were at least 50 questions. I figured that would take awhile.
Wrong. It took them ten minutes! The writing assignment took another 20 minutes, at most. Oh, and I forgot to tell you, since I had left high school there was this new schedule, called BLOCK, which meant I had those students 90 minutes instead of 45. Oh boy, I was in trouble!
So, I guess the one piece of advice is this: plan, but be ready to adjust. Look ahead at what the teacher wants your child to do so you can be prepared when they ask the questions. And use all the resources you can. An older brother, a neighbor. There’s got to be somebody somewhere that remembers algebra!
And here are a few resources and fun things that can help you.
Distance Learning Help
Need help teaching your kids? Here’s a list of free online educational resources: https://www.popsugar.com/family/free-online-educational-resources-for-kids-47311368
STEAM Activities for Kids, provided by the Cade Museum: https://www.cademuseum.org/cade-at-home.html
Distance Learning Tips are available on the Marion County Public Schools site: https://www.marionschools.net/
Junior League of Ocala has provided a video by educator Diane Leinenbach to help you navigate the MCPS website: https://www.facebook.com/juniorleagueofocala/videos/222455022295592/
Fun for Kids
DCBA’s Virtual Easter Egg Hunt: https://www.facebook.com/pg/dunnellonchambercommerce/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2321825548114769
Make Peeps Slime Science Project: https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/peeps-slime-easter-candy-science/
Good luck, Teach!