Live from Studio B1: Remote Teaching!
My career path has taken me through many schools and many positions all in preparation, I believe, for the 2020-2021 school year when I chose to serve as a remote special education teacher for kindergarten through third grade students in the PLUS program. What a challenge and ultimately, what fun!
The first two weeks were terrible. What I didn’t know became evident. I made mistakes. Despite 30+ years in education, none were spent as a remote learning teacher. I felt sad and angry for a little while. Then I made a list and got to work.
- Complete the district professional development and commit to implementing Seesaw, Google Meet and Screencastify with fidelity
- Cultivate relationships with students and support/guide parents every day
- Discern the learning conditions best suited to my particular students’ needs
- Create Studio B1 where I pretend I am in a television studio and move around the room using the walls as instructional supports
- Schedule daily 15-minute one-on-one sessions with each student
- Present three daily 30-minute whole group gatherings (morning meeting, literacy, numeracy) with a different instructional focus each day
- Promote learning
- Replicate hands-on materials so each student can follow along/do what I do
- Provide monthly instructional unit materials to parents at the beginning of each month
- Stimulate engagement through singing nursery songs and ample movement breaks
- Distribute the 30+ year teacher hoard (well, some of it) to my students to use and keep at home
- Lean in with my colleagues
- Music teacher Lucas Smith records sight word songs with me
- Physical education teacher Chris Reyenga models appropriate physical activities and gross motor movements
- Speech pathologist Amanda Nedved joins in every day with a smile
- Special Education teachers Michelle Bottensek, Tracey Bradac and Amanda Burski share their struggles and ideas
- Make mistakes, laugh, and give myself some grace
The 2020-2021 school year has been challenging. It has also been one of my most creative and fulfilling years. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to stretch and grow professionally.
Christina Meyer is a remote special education teacher at Rolling Green Elementary School. She has served as an RPS 205 educator for more than 30 years.
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