Since 2017, I have read my way through 40–45 books by setting a goal using the Reading Challenges on Goodreads. With a 45-minute commute that reading has usually taken the form of listening to audiobooks (I’ve found that more valuable to me than the radio or music). Over the past month or so, my commute has been significantly shorter as I have taken the 20 steps from my bedroom to my temporary office.
Last week, in an attempt to maintain sanity, my wife and I took a break to play a game of charades. Edison watched closely and then repeated each clue—dancing like a monkey or flapping imaginary bird wings—in his own funny way. Of course, this imitation is both adorable and a natural stage of human development, but it reminded me of the importance of modeling as a teaching tool.
Last week, I shared that learning will happen—no matter what you do. I hope that statement provides you with some comfort in today’s craziness. But I also recognize that teachers and parents are scouring the internet for resources to help kids stay engaged in learning, despite the changes we’re experiencing during the pandemic.
For four years, I taught middle school design classes at a small private school in Boulder, CO. At the end of each year, I received a letter detailing my employment for the following school year. Part of that letter described what would happen in the event of a school closure. I never gave that part much thought, convincing myself there was no possible way the school would have to close. Yet, here we are. Thousands of schools across the U.S. (including the one where I taught) have had to quickly enact distance learning plans. Teachers are adapting resources intended for teaching and school environment to support learning at home.