Mention the words “remote learning” to any student, parent, teacher, or administrator and there is a solid chance that you will receive an eye roll or some other negative reaction. After all, it didn’t seem to be a very successful “experiment” back in the spring of 2020. It was nobody’s fault. Nobody involved in the planning or participation had any experience with how to do it or what it should look like for each of the varying grade levels.
Fast forward to the 2020-2021 school year, when you were given a hybrid option of schooling, where some days you received live in-person instructions at school and worked at home on the other days (independently and without teacher supervision). It sounded better, but somehow not having a teacher with you half the time still made it difficult to say it was a positive experience.
All of this did teach us a lot about what works and what doesn’t as far as virtual learning goes. It must be possible. There are successful at-home learning programs out there that have been doing this for years at all levels of education. For AE/MS, it has finally clicked!
On February 4, AE/MS held its first remote learning day in place of a traditional snow day. Teachers were ready to teach classes to all of their students at the same time via Google Classroom meetings. A large majority of students were in attendance on time that day. The reaction from staff and students was all 100% positive.
Elementary Special Educator Haley Peters said, “I have to admit I was worried about today… but that was honestly so much fun! And lots of learning was accomplished. All the students loved telling me about what they were doing in the whole-class sessions. Our whole community – staff and students – did something pretty amazing together today. What a day!”
This was followed up by kudos to all from Principal Dobe. “Our teachers and students prepared for success with our first Remote Learning Day of the school year, and their efforts clearly paid off. All indications are that meeting attendance was strong, engagement and participation were high, and assignment completion was on par with a regular in-person learning day at AE/MS.
“It could be said that although our campus was closed, learning at AE/MS didn’t skip a beat. Congratulations to AE/MS teachers and students for a job very well done!”
Teachers repeatedly try to teach their students that you learn from your mistakes, so long as you don’t give up. February 4 certainly proved that theory. Although we hope we never have to make it a long-term situation again, we have learned from our struggles and found a way to make remote learning successful when it needs to be done.