Hello everyone! This is the second post of my Teaching From Home Series. Wow. What a journey this has been. My philosophy of being a life long learner has never rang so true. My reflection of this process has lead me to list 5 things things I’ve learned about myself and others.
1. Beyond the Comfort Zone-I cringe listening to my voice on audio much less view myself on video. I pushed passed those uncomfortable situations in order to deliver content to my students. It wasn't easy. My first audio lesson using Screencast-O-Matic took me 7 tries before I was comfortable publishing my lesson. Now I record without the nerves and barely have to redo my lessons. I took my newfound confidence even further and recorded myself on video reading aloud a book that we started before school was cancelled. I recorded myself reading 11 chapters and published them to my Google Classroom. If it weren't for the distance learning, I would've never tried to push myself out of my comfort zone.
2. Everything Google Slides- I have learned to do so much with slides during this time. Using slides as interactive tool for lessons with Pear Deck is the latest thing I've discovered. I took a webinar about it and was amazed. Besides that, slides can be used as an assignment tracker, interactive assessment tool, student paced lessons, etc. I've even stretched myself and made my first digital product. Something I never thought I'd be able to do before.
3. Google Meet- Before the distance learning was forced upon me, I didn't know anything about Google Meet. This became my relied upon communication each day in Google Classroom. With my set office hours each day, students could "pop" into the meet link to ask questions, show me work, or just say hi. It was so nice to be able to see them. Last week, we had fun on Google Meet with a scavenger hunt. It was a blast. I displayed 3 items at a time for the kiddos to find and show. There are many scavenger hunts for video calls on Pinterest. This is the one that I made.
4. Teamwork- I already knew I teamed with an awesome group of teachers, however this situation proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. We had to work together so closely to get things planned and implemented. We all shared our Google Classrooms and divided up the lessons. During distance learning we all got to know each other's kiddos since we were teaching them all. Another positive to come out of this.
5. A Little Kindness Can Go a Long Way- Kind words and understanding can produce better results than taking out frustrations on others due to a situation beyond our control. Unfortunately, I was on the receiving end of the frustrations felt at having to educate my students in an new way. For the most part, kindness and understanding helped to ease fears.