Comment: Could Silver Lining be What We Learn From Kids?

Courtesy: Thomas Courtney

Jackie Banuels and her baby sister are celebrating their first prize at the first school gathering at Cholas-Mid Elementary since the epidemic began.

The unanimous conclusion in the educational literature is that 2020 and 2021 will be a generational burden for children. And it’s true. This epidemic has hit all of us hard: educators, parents and the most powerful children. We need to talk about ways to deal with it, fix it and be aware of how our tax dollars can deal with it.

Still, something special is happening in my classroom right now. It’s something that manifests itself in a bigger and bigger way and I’m not alone in noticing it. It is not seen in the test data and it is not even discussed in any journal or book that I have seen. But there it is – a kind of silver lining beneath the huge gray clouds of quarantine and distance learning. I’m not watching it alone.

“They’re writing incredible stories,” Mrs. Reed said at a rare teacher’s luncheon gathering last week. “It’s not like my crew wrote too much online last year.”

“I read more books in my class than I did before,” said Mrs. Petrievelli. Everyone was shaking their heads. “When we were on computers, it wasn’t the same with computer programs.”

“They are curious about the content in a way I have never seen before,” said Mrs. Filippo.

I’ve had similar conversations with teachers on the coast. I can’t help but think, incidentally you will remember, many teachers are really watching something-Something We missed all the articles and stories about the problems our kids have now. I started wondering what is going on in the name of weekly prep period.

Unfortunately, Google did not help me much with “what happens to children after the epidemic”, or did not gather much sociological evidence for it. Advantage An epidemic on children. However, as someone wearing boots on the ground, my colleagues and I would like to ask a few questions to follow someone smarter than me:

Since we’ve talked more about kids, a lot of friends have suggested something I didn’t consider. Mrs Flippo said: “I had some parents with me when we were online all day. “It simply came to our notice then Now“If we think, online parental engagement has the same effect as parental engagement before Covid? Wouldn’t it be a silver lining to understand parental engagement and how we can do it better?”

“I know it sounds crazy,” said Mrs. Reid, “but I actually think the span of some attention is long now!” He went on to explain how in the years before the epidemic it was more and more difficult to pay attention to children. Now this is a mix-mash. “Many of my third-grade students are able to sit longer.” Can he be right? The shrinking span of attention over the past few years has been supported by scientific research. But my colleagues and I can wonder Type Other things like screen time or video-conferencing or working independently at home, have they actually increased their focus a bit back to a traditional classroom?

Another wonderful thing I am discussing with colleagues is that there is not a time when students go out of supervision on our campus. Yet, during distance learning, many children have gone into supervision throughout the day. The benefits of independent study on educational achievement have been well researched over the years. How did independence during quarantine affect students’ stamina? Engaged? Student responsibility?

Earlier this year, many kids often shared their joys with me in brick-and-mortar classes. A young man with autism will literally have a visceral reaction to a computer he has and will sigh with relief if it is removed. The other kids seemed happy to be among friends. When, we wonder, was the last time we really thought about what friends in our class meant to each other? How can we view friendship as a tool for learning in the years to come?

Finally, many an article quickly pointed out that post-epidemic technology would simply be a larger and more productive part of our lives. However, what if what we saw during the epidemic was that technology had limitations and so the kids were in front of the screen? What does it mean for state leaders to purchase curricula or provide materials and training for teachers?

Kids may not learn as much as we would like in the last few years, but what if we, as educators, could learn some positive things from what they did while at home? We’ve all read about the negative. But before we get back to business as usual, consider, explore and learn any positive aspects that our kids can bring back with them.


Thomas Courtney Teaches fifth grade at San Diego Unified’s Chollas-Mid Elementary School and is a Senior Policy Fellow at Teach Plus California and a member of AdSource’s Teacher Advisory Committee.

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