I’ve written several posts – here and in other outlets – about concerns and predictions I have about the fall. You can see them all at THE BEST POSTS PREDICTING WHAT SCHOOLS WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE FALL.
Specific ones include:
Here’s another one I’ve been thinking about:
If there are staggered schedules for classes in a physical school, I know I am going to feel pressured to maximize the caliber of my instruction all the time. And I do mean all the time. I might be only spending one hour each week masked face-to masked face with students, and the rest of the time they might be doing online asynchronous work. And I might be doing that four days a week with seven-to-ten students each period, five periods a day.
I’m a very good teacher. I have a lot of energy. But, let’s face it, we’re all human. There are days when we’re tired, we’re pre-occupied with other things, or we might not be feeling that well (that last one might not be an issue because if that’s the case, we probably won’t be allowed on campus).
I’m not sure how many of us will be able to sustain the high level of energy that many of us will feel pressured to bring to every moment of every day in the physical classroom.
And I’m not sure how many of us will have the self-discipline to pace ourselves in that situation.
In addition, there could be a similar issue related to live online classes if we go in that direction.
I now teach a one-half-hour live class each day to English Language Learner Beginners, followed by a fifteen minute live class to a small group of Intermediate ELLs. I also do three one-hour live classes each week with my other classes that mainly consists of students giving IB Theory of Knowledge Oral Presentations that they prepare asynchronously.
I spend a lot of time preparing each half-hour live ELL class. And I am on during it. My wife hears me through the door of my home office and regularly comments about how much energy she can hear me putting into it. And it works – I’ve had a ninety-percent participation rate for weeks, and it hasn’t gone down.
I’m also exhausted after each one.
If we are going to be doing multiple live classes each day in the fall, I have similar concerns to what I mentioned earlier about being able to sustain the needed energy over a long school year.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that I, and many of us, are going to have to figure out one pretty soon…