With everyone working from home, an economically challenged district is using live and recorded video to bring coaches, teachers, and students together.
With schools closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, everyone in Marion County Schools is away from our students and colleagues. As an instructional coach working from an unfamiliar place—my home—I’ve been asking myself some fundamental questions. What do my teachers need from me? How can my teachers best support our students who live and teach in a socio-economically challenged county? What does education look like when it lacks direct human connection? How can I maintain a long-distance relationship with my colleagues so they can help our students who are facing economic uncertainty? How can we ensure students have the technology they need to stay regularly connected with the school?
Here are the answers I’ve come up with so far.
Connecting with Teachers as Human Beings First
To fill the void of human connection that so many of us feel right now, I use synchronous video via ADVANCElive for check-ins with my teachers. These check-ins are informal sharing sessions where teachers can ask questions, share answers, and connect with each other. As a coach, I’m trying to remind myself to keep these check-ins light. Right now, we all just need some genuine human interaction, and I don’t want to overwhelm teachers with checklists and guidelines during that interaction. During my first virtual check-in with teachers, it was reassuring to hear concerns, to validate those concerns, and to make plans for working through them.
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