Many students and teachers will be physically returning to school in the Fall, others will be in ‘lockdowns’ due to the pandemic. This ‘morphing’ from one system of learning to the other requires adaptability and flexible approaches from all constituents, but it is emotionally draining. There has been much written about student and faculty emotional states during the pandemic; however, this issue still needs to be addressed. Many students have thrived learning at home but others feel lost and discombobulated with a confused sense of self and are struggling to readjust from their isolation. It’s time for a mental health check for all! Now we need to focus on reconnecting and building relationships as this past year has been tough for both our students and our educators with many losing loved ones.
Our existing school structure has become a home-based system heavily reliant on technology that has affected all our school communities. ‘Zoom fatigue’ has become a common term in our culture. If adults are suffering, what about our students and how can we make online learning meaningful again? This new form of online collaborative learning challenges our old concept of face-to-face collaboration in the classroom. The pandemic has challenged us to review what and how we do things. As a result, we may need to question whether we are now just teaching to the standards and meeting learning outcomes? This is a time to change our perspective on the students’ learning experience. So how can we do this? Is it time to rethink a more holistic approach not only to our grading and testing but our delivery so we can ensure our students use the Global Skillset to develop their whole self? Perhaps we need to look at things through another lens. How do we make this fun and show students new and creative ways of reconnecting with their learning experience?
Looking for New Directions from Google Earth
Many of us enjoy certainty: pinpointing an exact location of where we are traveling on a map. Regarding student learning, via feedback through grades and assessment, we would like to know exactly how our kids are doing. But what if we thought about it less as a fixed spot on a graph and more like Google Earth, where, for example, scale and perspective are key factors? By sharing the idea of the learning experience with students as an analogy of…