When teachers go back to school this fall, the classroom as they’ve known it will be gone, and their instruction will be more critical than ever.
That’s a daunting combination, but it’s what the pandemic has delivered. The spring produced crisis schooling, and teachers and schools scrambled to find online resources and master remote teaching techniques. A more deliberate approach this fall could mean a better experience for students; the lack of one could turn equity gaps into chasms.
With so much riding on instruction, districts need to plan for it with the same rigor they’ve applied to more operational aspects of reopening. “School leaders can’t be swallowed up in figuring out where the hand sanitizing stations are going to go,” said Justin Reich, the director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab.
Fifth in a series of eight installments.
These times are unprecedented. Through these eight installments, we will explore the steps administrators need to take to ensure the safety of students and faculty.
> Full report: How We Go Back to School
> Part 1: Socially Distanced School Day
> Part 2: Scheduling and Staffing
> Part 3: Transportation
> Part 4: Remote Learning
> Part 5: Teaching & Learning
> Up next: Learning Loss
It’s a lot to take on even as the ground shifts under teachers’ feet. In the building, social distancing could put an end to the group projects and partner work that are central to many teachers’ pedagogy. Online, they will have to develop relationships and classroom routines with students they may have never met in person.
And engaging students is more essential than ever: Months of unequal access to instruction last spring mean that students will be coming back to school, in person or remotely, with varying degrees of learning loss. Teachers will have to address those losses as they introduce grade-level content.
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