EP: 10 – Leading in Education Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis
"Take care of yourself first if you're planning to
have productive and efficient communication."
- Cindy Hunt (19:13 - 19:18)
Students and families across the nation are adapting to the evolving changes in daily life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has pushed the use of online education to ensure that most students are learning amidst the global situation.
In this episode, we have Dr. Rick Vandermolen. He spent most of his career in academics, where he worked as a teacher and principal. His research focuses on the use of technology to deliver meaningful and productive education for students. Also, he is leading a study on adaptive communication with a group of educational leaders.
And for these reasons, we believe he is the perfect resource to talk about adapting to this new learning environment amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
Part One of Learning in Education Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis
Most students are learning virtually. Online learning isn't new, but it wasn't widely used as the primary educational setting until recently. The question now is, how can teachers prepare themselves to provide effective learning using a relatively new venue?
First of all, educators must see this as an opportunity. It's the best time to show students, parents, and the entire community the true value of our schools and how we can bring quality experiences to all of our students.
"Taking care of each other is one of the high priorities
amidst all of this." - Cindy Hunt (21:31 - 21:35)
Teaching face-to-face is different than doing so online. You have to understand the best practices so that the learning experiences will be the same, if not better. For some educators, the switch from offline to online can be challenging. But if you have the will and if you are up for that challenge, there is no reason why you will fail.
As a leader, don't ask people to do stuff that you're not willing to do yourself.
Try to explore what technology can offer and try to see how you can integrate your learning techniques. We can maximize Google Classroom, Zoom, and other platforms.
Consider the following regardless of the teaching method or platform you use:
- What do I want to happen for kids in this situation?
- What does that look like?
- What does that sound like?
- What is it going to take for us to get there?
- What kind of interaction and communication can we put into play just like a classroom?
Think about the conditions needed for learning, just as you would in the classroom.
Part Two of Learning in Education Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis
"Be a leader who leads like you deserve followers."
- Dr. Rick Vandermolen (07:15 - 07:19)
It's also crucial that as teacher leaders and teachers, we formulate a structure so we can all meet together. Doing so is in the best interests of the students. Make it a point to meet with your colleagues, share best practices, and find the most appropriate online techniques to use.
While there might be distractions when teaching and learning online, the key here is to take care of our own psychological needs first, just as we would in the classroom setting.
When it comes to preparing, put yourself in a position to win. Start by being physically, spiritually and mentally prepared. Establish a routine and decide how your communication will go out. Many students love to-do lists.
Be visual with your students. They benefit from seeing you are a real person. Lastly, try to provide your students with an opportunity to meet you online. For example, open an hour where they could talk to you about the things they are dealing with right now. Show them you're a teacher whom they can trust.Online learning might feel outside of some of our comfort zone at first, but it gives us a way of innovating in education.
How to Get Involved:
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What you'll discover in this guide:
- How to Charge Your Batteries (it’s not just for phones)
- Discerning Someone’s Preferred Language (no foreign language training required)
- Listening for Their Perception (yep – we each have our own)
- Battery Charging Others (after all, teamwork makes the dream work)
- Get Your Message Across to a Group (all communication “channels” matter)
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