Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on student engagement and online or hybrid learning strategies related to pandemic teaching. This year’s 4th most-read story focuses on some learning strategies that have staying power.
In 2020, students, teachers, and parents made an extraordinary pivot to distance learning with no preparation at all. From the district perspective, investments have been made in technology and infrastructure that may not have been made otherwise. We all gained phenomenal skills and insights as a result of having to make this abrupt turn, and then having to sustain that as the global pandemic persisted.
Now, we’re at a point where students, parents, and teachers all deserve to sustain those investments and the skills that they’ve built over time in order to reach one another and continue the learning. There will be some undeniable academic, social, and emotional gaps, of course, because kids have been away from their friends, teachers have been away from their classrooms, and school leaders have been away from their buildings.
All that to say, the recovery period will be significant, but if teachers and students have shown us anything over the past 15 months, it’s that they will stop at nothing to get to each other and to the learning. Now, we’re working with a solid ground of new learning, new technology, and new ways of being together.
Here are five more learning strategies that are here to say:
1. The right direction now is forward. We’ve learned too much to go back. Remember, “normal” pre-pandemic learning left too many opportunity gaps, particularly for students with disabilities or Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). What has not and will not change is the instructional core: teachers, students, and content. This core remained constant, and the bottom line is that the brick-and-mortar school is a deeply held institution that we want to retain for most kids and families.