Shifting to support learners
In light of the ongoing reforms happening with the implementation of the Common Core and most recently the Next Generation Science Standards, one shift that is shared is the one towards more student-centered learning. Many secondary teachers were moving slowly from the model of teacher as source of information to the facilitator of learning. COVID 19 has shifted to student-centered learning immediately and teachers had to make this shift to be successful. As a long-time high school teacher, what I am clearly aware of is the importance of connecting to the students you are teaching. This social/emotional bond is central to meaningful education. I think that distance learning has provided opportunities to meet with students in small groups and have more opportunities for individual contact that may have not been possible. It is by having meaningful interactions that enables the social/emotional bonds to form. I believe some of the real barriers are the access to the internet, useful devices, and just-in-time professional learning in a consultatory fashion that can help overcome these challenges. I am afraid that many teachers have abandoned their adopted curriculum and have moved to options to keep students moving forward. I think as we move forward, thinking about how we support the learning of the adopted curricula in a new manner is how the shifts can not only be useful, but even better than before.