In partnership with eSchool News, Illuminate Education is spotlighting teachers in a series recognizing educators, the way they have moved instruction online during COVID-19, and how they have prioritized the needs of their students.
TVT Community Day School, CA
“We are all trying different things and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but then you come in the next day and it’s a new day.”
How has your school shifted to a remote learning model?
We actually started planning for remote learning a couple of years ago. We wanted to be prepared in case of an earthquake or fire or another instance where we wouldn’t have a brick and mortar building, so we wanted to have a plan of action.
An integration specialist meets students--and teachers--where they're comfortable
After the school closed, we had about two days without students, where we just met with teachers and helped them prepare. I spend a lot of time getting resources together, recording screencasts, and creating tutorials—just to make sure the teachers are set up for success. Teachers will also reach out to me to join their Google Meets to help work with the students too.
At the beginning of all of this, everyone was sending in emails to let us know about all these companies that were offering free services. It was helpful and kind of them to reach out, but it made everything feel more daunting. So to support our teachers, we slimmed it down and just started with teachers holding a Google Meet, even if for a few minutes, to say hi to their students, and then have their students work on their assignments offline.
Right now we are using a learning management system specifically for private schools. Our goal is to really make sure teachers are using that to post assignments and to communicate with their students and parents. We also decided to stick with Google Meet instead of Zoom because our teachers were already used to Gmail and the Google world in general. Google Meet wasn’t really made for the classroom, but we thought it was best to keep things really simple for both students and teachers.