As I write this blog, I am one of the 15 million Australian’s currently in lockdown. I don’t like it, but I get it and I’ll do it. The impact across our country has been massive as we’ve endured months of challenge and heartache. Amongst all the challenges, there is a small part of this lockdown caper that I don’t mind. On occasions, it’s been a timely reset and brought our family closer than ever. We’ve had moments of laughter that I don’t think would have ever happened during the busy life we typically lead. I’m sure we have all experienced the ups and downs.
Although I consider myself an optimistic guy, I don’t think we can rule out future lockdowns. So, if Remote Learning is going to pop up every now and again, I think it’s helpful if we aimed for a bit of consistency.
Over the last 18 months, I’ve been in close contact with plenty of schools, amazing teachers and outstanding leaders. I’ve also got a family of remote learners; 2 kids in primary school, 2 kids in secondary school and a wife doing her best to embrace the online classroom.
I have noticed that our approaches have improved over the journey as we’ve refined our practice in the online world.
Despite this improvement, there are some apparent variations in the approaches adopted between every State and Territory and the approaches adopted by our different sectors. Take this a step further and there are significant variances between similar schools, some next door to each other.
Some schools are attempting to mirror the typical day, working through curriculum, tasks and worksheets for the entire 300+ minutes. Then there are some schools where teachers and students have limited personal contact at all. Students download their worksheets or booklet and go for it. In between, there is a variety of approaches that include the daily check-in, roll marking and pre-recorded videos.
There is no judgment about what’s happening, but I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum, and the different approaches are vastly significant. I acknowledge that all schools are doing their best and adopting approaches they believe are right for their kids. That’s fair, as we all navigate this new world without a playbook.
I’m not aiming for creating a profession of robots where we all do and say the same thing when we shift online. I don’t want to take away from every teacher’s unique flavour or the school’s right to decide what’s right for their students.
In saying that, I believe it would be helpful to get a bit of consistency around this stuff, or at least some understanding of what’s working or what isn’t.
I’m interested in hearing from you on this one.
- Do we need a bit more guidance around this?
- Is it fair to place the responsibility on schools and teachers to make the decisions for their students?
- Does it even matter if we are all doing something different?
- What does your school do that works for your kids?
Check out other articles Simon has written here.