For the last post in this three-part series about online teaching, I want to deviate from sharing another list of takeaways and instead take a moment to write about some big picture moments.
What do I mean by big picture moments?
Well, big picture moments are those moments when I felt almost normal. When it seemed like we were in a state of flow. When the stakes were low and student engagement was high. When I remembered what is truly important and directed my attention to that instead of to the minutiae of teaching. (Disclaimer: this isn’t always easy to do.)
These were the times when I could stop taking myself seriously for a moment and step away from myself to squarely face the kids, and not waver in my commitment to listen, reflect and always try to do better.
During “not-so-serious” moments, I poke fun at myself and watch the kids smile or laugh on screen. I have to confess that my heart melts at those moments and I am reminded of why I love working with kids.
Another example of a big picture moment is when feedback I give students resonates with them and moves them to make changes in their work. As a teacher I live for those moments.
Yet a third example of a big picture moment is when kids voluntarily join in to our optional Spanish conversation sessions, and writing or reading clubs. The moments when children are conversing about their favorite hobby or musician, quietly reading, writing and sharing celebrations. These moments feel authentic and meaningful.
I want to always affirm these big picture moments because no matter what bad news the naysayers insist on spreading, this year my students learned a lot even if it wasn’t always easy or what I had set out to teach.
Learning will continue to happen.
I choose to hold these examples close to my teacher heart so that I can make the remaining weeks of this school year memorable for my students and their families.
The learning curve has been steep; I’m not going to lie. But I am grateful to be learning along with my students. And that may just be the biggest takeaway yet.
Cross posted to The Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life Story Challenge.
3 thoughts on “Online Teaching Part #3 – #SOL21 Day #29”
I enjoyed reading your “big-picture” moments as much as your takeaways. I can tell that you have created a very strong bond with your students and that they have learned well, even if it was through a computer screen. I used to say tell my friends that a good teacher could teach in a mud hut without any supplies. I never in a million years would have said that a good teacher could teach for an entire year through a screen, but so many of you have proved that even THAT is doable–and doable well.
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Thank you for your kind words. It has been a hard year and there were so many times when I felt like a failure. I’m just looking for some “wins” to carry me through into next year.
I love this language, Elisa: “to hold these examples close to my teacher heart” – it reminds me (all of us) that we have to keep seeking and searching for the goodness, even in the challenges, to ensure we’re finding hope. Thanks for sharing such personal (yet relatable) big picture moments.
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