Some Thoughts


25 January 2021

We are all so very tired of the death count, of lockdowns, of homeschool, and of anxiety.

We are not all in the same situation.

Some are in crowded families with no space and a lack of IT.

Some have plenty of space and all the resources they need.

Some are carrying on pretty much as normal - going to work and maybe saving money they would have spent on eating out and holidays.

Teachers are trying to run a class, learn how to use whole new set of technology, create online tasks, mark the tasks, support the kids who are still in school, and support the kids who are at home.

Many parents are trying to juggle work and homeschool (with priority towards one or the other depending on various life factors).

Kids are coping (or not) without friends, with a routine upturned, with extra stresses and expectations.

Some kids like homeschool and just get on with it (or so I have heard)

But we all seem to be doing this alone.

There doesn’t seem to be much collaboration.

Thousands of teachers are individually creating lessons; millions of parents are, separately, supporting kids.

Some schools have setup collaboration tools for classes - but many kids are having to work without the familiar help, support, and emotional response from their peers. Without camaraderie, teamwork, inspiration or competition.

Sometimes it feels to me like we have the worst possible combination of the old and the new.

Can’t we bring out the best of established teaching methods and new tech?.

The best teachers working with the best technologists to create a common resource of online lessons - with automated marking of work. A resource that can be built on over time, re-used and adapted as needed. Doing what IT can do best - freeing people from repetitive work to allow more time for the human, creative stuff.

Parents not working individually but together supporting teachers.

Let the real live teachers spend most of their time supporting kids directly - helping those who need it most with one to one time either in person or online.

I have time and resources - I could just look after my kid.

But what happens even if I succeed?

If he goes back to a class where he has done the work but half the kids are left behind and maybe traumatised?

Not only do I care about those kids - but in school they are all in it together - wearing a uniform and doing the same work.

What affects your kids affects my kid, what affects mine affects yours.

This isn’t nearly over though we all wish it was.

The virus is not beaten yet - it will take time and there could be setbacks.

Once we do have a full return to school we will still have a lot of catching up to do and there is no reason to expect teachers to do this all alone.

Imagine how good it could be.

We’ve spent so much time with our kids - too much yes - but before this maybe we didn’t spend enough of our time on education.

We now know more about their learning - wouldn’t it be great to send them back to school but continue the learning journey together?

I know it isn’t for everyone - but couldn’t schools, kids, and parents all benefit from more collaboration ?