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I wish my teacher knew...

Written by Jessica Jenkins
November 18, 2020

This year in education has been a HUGE learning curve for us as educators. Majority of the challenges I have had with online learning have related to academics, which I’ve easily been able to find a fix or solution through individual research, trial and error, or a colleague. The biggest part of online learning I am still trying to figure out is my classroom community.

Weekly I do check-ins with my students to see how they are doing emotionally and I have them rate themselves on how they feel about the content we have covered for the week. Normally, in a normal classroom setting I rely on morning meetings as the main way to building classroom community. Also, my district purchased a program Sanford Harmony to promote socio-emotional learning of students. However, in an online settings it is extremely difficult to carry out these expectations when I have two hours of live instructions Monday- Friday to teach all content areas.

So, I decided this week to change my weekly check-ins with my students to the “I wish my teacher knew prompt…”. I have to say this was the best decision yet. This really allowed to get to know my students better and I shifted my upcoming lessons for the week to include my students interests. I learned I need to keep encourage my students through positive reinforcement because they need it and appreciate it. Also, the prompt helped me to see those students I should schedule lunch with for a day because they need that extra attention and relationship building. Also, I learned again the importance of compassion because it shows that some of my students really need compassion and understanding through these trying times because of COVID restrictions.

After using the “I wish my teacher knew prompt…” I have started doing activities I used in my morning meetings for my check-ins and I am hoping to begin starting morning meetings as discussion post during asynchronous instruction. I am hoping this will help to build community and most important allow students more of an opportunity to communicate with their peers.