It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but wow, was the ride worth it! I just completed a four week online training with about 30 9th grade virtual teachers based around the country. Their talents and knowledge is extraordinary, and the pioneer spirit is still strong.
Everytime I teach, I learn something new or something old all over again. Key memories from this experience include:
No one knows everything. Even the most expert and experienced teacher in one area can be missing information in another area. The key is learning to learn from each other’s strengths.
Even expert teachers can feel like novices when placed in new teaching and learning environments. I’ve experienced this phenomenon myself each time I’ve switched teaching environments such as a live class, a class in a computer lab, a hybrid course, or a fully online course. The key is to remember that expert teachers understand good pedagogy, and these principles apply in ALL environments. We just have to learn the tools of the trade and the context in order to apply those principles.
Online teaching isn’t a cure all. Many of these teachers reported working with at-risk or special needs kids. And the need for additional assistance can actually be created by the online environment itself, thus resulting in the need for assistive technologies, and training in the use of assistive technologies.
It was a great experience to be part of their learning process. I’m imagining myself supervising online students teachers in the near future….via video conferencing, of course.