Inigo Montoya’s words are echoing in my head. Teachers and students are experiencing Remote Learning has been taking place since early March and we are about to close the school year up … remotely. Most teachers were thrown into this ill-prepared to last 3 months outside of the classroom. The Shakespearian conflicts grew from many directions. Teacher vs Self (mental health). Teacher vs Others (school board, parents, admin). Teacher vs World (the monster called public opinion). And now it looks like remote learning may continue to grow in the near future.
Remote was initially used to describe how students and teachers will continue school, but because of Covid, do so at home, remotely. Remote meant away from school or continue from home. Parents became the teacher assistants while those that had jobs were also doing those jobs at home. Remote to many homes meant “Use the remote to turn on the TV while Daddy has another conference call.” Then we dealt with the inequity of academic supports and settling on giving only Pass or Incomplete grades. Students with good grades in the Fall got to keep those same grades for Spring, thus providing a remote chance they would do ANY work in the Spring.
Bright spots have been illuminated though. Amazing teachers have used their pre-existing classroom culture and creative use of technology to provide effective instruction and classroom connectivity. Teachers were using Zoom not just for taking attendance during the remote week, but for academic life-lines for those students who continued to make progress in their learning. The online features once seen as purely ‘extra’, were used to provide video tutorials, digital work rooms for small groups, online presentation theaters and more. Remote for some of those teachers and their students was less about isolation and more about extension.
We have two kids graduating this year, one from college and one from high school. We were told that graduation ceremonies were cancelled and may be scheduled for the remote future, in August. A time usually filled with family gathering and celebration has been removed from our kids and we will have to wait to see what will happen.
Marian and I were supposed to get our rig in April, then pushed out to May and now we are hoping for a June delivery. The wait has been long and our chance to travel to the remote places seems like just a dream. However, it has only given us more time to learn from others online and collect empty Amazon boxes.
I’ll end with another quote from Inigo Montoya. “I hate waiting.”