When I was young, someone thought pushing me into the deep end was a great way of teaching me how to swim. While I did learn to swim later on in life, that day I nearly drowned.
With sudden school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many teachers felt like they had been thrown in the deep end with distance (or remote) learning. For many, there was no transition period, and they were provided little guidance on how to adapt their curriculum. However, one thing is certain: everyone is doing their best.
I’ve had the idea of doing a podcast for a while now, but with these new challenges facing teachers, I thought it best to use this platform to share the stories of fellow educators finding success in this new learning environment. After all, as Rich Simmonds says, "Knowledge alone is not power. The sharing of our knowledge is when knowledge becomes powerful."
To give you a glimpse of what you will find in Simply Mr. Hayes - The Podcast (available on Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and RadioPublic) here are some highlights from my interviews with David Adams, Darius Phelps, Jori Krulder, Meagan Kelly, and Ebony Ford (You can find them on Twitter at @dphelps1113, @DAdams_SEL, @JoriKrulder, @meagan_e_kelly, @MsEFord):
1. The value of compassionate grading
Several of those I interviewed mentioned they have embraced the idea of "compassionately grading". What does this mean? How can it help students in this new learning environment?
2. The benefit of re-examining our assignments
The old way of doing things may no longer suit our students’ needs and abilities. How can we be adaptable? Find out why one teacher included journaling into her curriculum. 3. The renewed appreciation for our “why”
Some teachers are finding that distance learning isn’t for them. What did one teacher do when he found himself questioning his role as an educator?
4. The beauty of showing ourselves grace
Learning how to use and make use of new tools for the virtual classroom can be daunting. Two educators discuss why it’s important to remind ourselves that our best is enough.
5. The importance of social-emotional learning
As schools struggle with distance teaching, it is easy for social-emotional learning to be set aside. Listen in as several educators explain why this would be a mistake and what we can do to help our students cope.
There is much more to come, so stay tuned.