But what is hard to take right now is all the varying opinions about what we should be doing during the pandemic. I've been told:
- Don't grade anything, because it's unfair to judge kids for how they perform during a crisis.
- You have to keep grading, because otherwise the kids won't do anything, and any way, how else will we know if we are meeting our objectives?
- Take advantage of this huge teachable moment to educate the kids about: the science and sociology of the Corona Virus, fact checking, developing empathy for Anne Frank and kids in refugee camps, etc.
- You are piling on to the students' trauma if you force them to continue thinking about the current situation.
- Give lots of choice. They need flexibility.
- Give them a schedule and clear directions. Choice is overwhelming right now.
- Be mindful that some kids are now in situations that are unsafe for them, or have family responsibilities that will preclude them being focused on schoolwork.
- Be mindful that assuming kids are worse off without school smacks of racism and white saviorism.
- Kids are desperate for the normalcy and routines of school.
- Kids are desperate for a new way of learning they aren't able to get in school.
- Do video conferences so they can reconnect with familiar faces.
- Don't do video conferences, because they're an invasion of student privacy.
- You just do what is right for you and your kids.
- If you think what you're doing is right for "your kids," you are revealing your ignorance of the nuances of our students' lives.
You get the picture.
As we started this distance learning experiment, I used to panic every time I read one of takes, because I'm so worried I'm doing it wrong. Then I started to get angry when I read them, because I realized NOBODY knows what "doing it right" looks like. But instead of saying, "Here's what I'm thinking right now about this," it's always framed as "If you are any kind of teacher at all, this is what you need to be doing." And the fact that I kind of agree with every single one of the above statements, even though they contradict each other every which way, goes to show it's much more nuanced than can be captured in any hectoring tweet or bossy article.
Yeah. Well. How's YOUR job going?