I am seven weeks short of 40 years of teaching and I have seen a lot of things. Over the years my classroom changed, my students changed, I’ve changed and now the world has changed. I just finished my third week working with my students remotely because of the COVID-19 virus and I am not optimistic this “new normal” is going to end before the school year is over.
For those that don’t personally know me, I am very much an introvert that loves teaching. I get very anxious in new situations with new people. However, once I get to know someone I find great comfort knowing them. It takes me longer than most to get comfortable with my classes when we are in the classroom. I love working with students. I love being in my classroom and watching my students learn and grow. I am comfortable with technology and have the tools, I just don’t like the lack of human contact with the current situation. This is my last year of teaching and this is not how I wanted my last year to end. I really hope I can finish my last year actually in my classroom with my students.
I have always thought that our schools are full of heros, but now those heros are trying to do their job remotely. This is new to all of us and there are teachers out there doing amazing things, but students and teachers still need relationships. Even if they are introverts like me.
In my classroom I focus on building relationships and we experiment and discover math through interactions. I focus on orchestrating class discussions instead of direct instruction. This past three weeks has really been challenging, as I try to guide my students down a correct path remotely. My students are comfortable with the technology and almost all of them have the necessary technology. My current problem; I do not have students that are trained to just sit and watch someone explain things, because that is not how we do things in our classroom. Now I need to resort to more direct instruction and it has been difficult for me and them.
Sometimes you don’t really miss something until it’s gone.