Today, I learned all about tectonic plates, shifting earth and underground volcanoes.
My daughter took her Zoom-based science class right outside my office door this afternoon.
Her teacher has adapted the entire class structure to the Zoom session. They started in a bit of a lecture, mainly with him talking. Still, anytime a student had a question, they could just “raise their hand” virtually. It’s a mere click of the mouse away. He would stop and answer, just like they were all sitting in the same room.
He also asked specific questions, engaging the kids in real discussion, hearing their theories as to what was happening with the earth’s shifting. He listened and repeated back, clarifying what they had said to one another.
I even heard his high school senior “teaching assistant” jump in. (She’s looking at becoming a teacher herself, and is helping out in this class.) She took notes on the conversation, and was posting directly into Google docs as the class progressed.
At one point, he broke the class into four groups. The discussion went on between just a few students for about ten minutes. He then brought everyone back together to compare and analyze, and to hear what was planned for after their break next week.
Back in grade school, I was often in the classroom personally for one reason or another. I never failed to be impressed by how well our teachers know the kids and how much effort they put into their jobs.
A silver lining for today? Hearing great proof that this professionalism continues on through high school.
Kudos to all the staff venturing out into a brave new world of online learning!