Technology & instruction during school closure

Technology & instruction during school closure
Posted on 05/13/2020
From Casey Echelmeier, District Instructional Technology Facilitator & Instructional Coach

May 13 - One thing is certain during this school closure: Mexico Public School teachers miss their students and colleagues! Our teachers are finding ways to connect with and continue to instruct our students during this unprecedented time.  

Mexico administrators and teachers realize not all students have the same access to technology or other resources outside of the school setting. This awareness has sparked many conversations and virtual work sessions on how the district can ensure all students have access to continued learning opportunities while at home. Regardless of grade level, our teachers have worked hard to ensure their students have opportunities to extend their learning and connect during school closure.

A priority of Mexico teachers is to ensure they are connecting and maintaining relationships with their students. Many teachers hold virtual meetings through Google Meets. This allows the teachers to connect with their class, as a whole, or a small group of students. This virtual meeting time also allows teachers to provide opportunities for students to “visit” with their classmates, review curriculum content through shared review games and activities, and support student learning in providing instruction to assist students in completing coursework. For those students who do not have access to online learning at home, building administrators are working with their teachers to provide non-technology learning opportunities. Through social media and other forms of communication, buildings have provided learning packets ensuring students have the resources needed to continue their learning while at home. Administrators also ensure teachers are connecting with all students, and if not, plans are developed for student contact. 

Not only are Mexico teachers working to find creative, engaging ways to connect and continue student learning, they are also working hard ensuring our students receive the very best education when they do return to the classrooms next school year. Through virtual meetings, administrators are conducting weekly faculty meetings. This is a time for everyone to debrief on their weekly student connections and provides opportunities for building administrators to ensure their teachers have the support needed to continue their extended learning. Virtual office hours are also occurring allowing the instructional coaches opportunities to provide professional development and support teachers as needed.

Teachers are also using virtual meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on instructional plans for next school year. Teachers continue to work with their building administrators, instructional coaches, and colleagues to improve their content curriculum. Ensuring our district curriculum aligns with state learning standards, provides learning opportunities at high levels of learning, and prepares our students to be successful, productive citizens drives the collaborative work our teachers are doing daily during school closure.  

Yes, teachers wish they could have their last months of school with their students. For a teacher, nothing compares to a classroom full of students learning with each other.  Yes, for the past few months, school has looked different. But one thing is certain, Mexico Public School teachers are working hard now to ensure all our students have the best possible learning opportunities when we do return next school year.