katherine zagotsis
Highly Accomplished Teacher. AAC Communication Partner & Advocate. Mum of one. Accidental Leader. Reflectionist, Mentor and life-long learner.

Engaging Now! 7.4

You're right, it is a very low number. What's your opinion on the accreditation process?

About 2 weeks ago from Katherine Zagotsis's Twitter via Twitter for Android

Demonstrating 4.5

Planning for simultaneous face to face teaching and remote learning during COVID-19

April 8, 2020 | Focus Areas: | | | | 2 COMMENTS

I am teaching a class of highly vulnerable students with various diagnoses that affect them intellectually, physically and have an effect on their sensory processing. Next term (at this stage), 4 of those students will be attending school, the remaining 2 will be at home, learning alongside their families. These guys are also five. Sitting them in front of a screen and expecting them to be present for a video call at a given point during the day isn’t feasible. I really didn’t think that within my context, I would ever be thinking about things like remote learning. About how many people are living in the household and how this affects so much e.g. a family of two is likely going to be under less financial pressure than a family with five children. How that will definitely affect how much of a priority education is given. How can I utilise my existing skills and adapt them to this very strange situation? And very, very specifically about wellbeing-my own, my students, my families and the staff/Pre-Service Teacher working alongside me.

It’s currently Week 11 and the teachers at my site have been given the opportunity to work from home, with the instruction that we only plan for two weeks worth of work for the students we have at home. On Monday, we were also asked to make direct contact with those families to check in and specifically ask what we could do to support them. My two families didn’t respond immediately via SeeSaw, with one replying after 9 p.m. It took a lot of effort, but I didn’t reply to that one until 9 a.m. the next day. Leadership have sent home a letter that specifies that teachers will be available from 9-3, so I want to establish those boundaries early on.

While we won’t be using Microsoft products to reach students, I was directed to some training which focused on remote learning, accessibility and Special Education. It didn’t quite meet my specific needs, but the related course, that prompted me to create a remote learning action plan, I found really helpful. I also added asynchronous and synchronous learning to my vocabulary. New words are always good. However, probably the best prompt from that learning for me was this:

How are you feeling about your abilities for executing the remote learning plan? 

Okay. There’s a lot that I can’t control and I have to let go of that. There are also limitations on what I can expect students and families to do.  There’s a lot I can encourage however.

2 responses to “Planning for simultaneous face to face teaching and remote learning during COVID-19”

  1. The fact that you’re even taking time to reflect right now is amazing. I’m glad there was something there amongst the Microsoft Training for you. We’re all going to grow so much over the coming weeks.

    • Thanks. I think I just wanted to have something to remember what it was like at the time. Yes, huge learning curve in a lot of ways.

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