Future of teaching

Discussion in 'General Education' started by John Lee, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Nov 27, 2020

    The question that brought me back to the forum here is what people think we will see going forward after this year. Starting 2021 school year, will we be back to "normal" (assuming all goes well going forward). Or... will we have some version of distance learning (i.e. teaching from home) as a regular part of our job?
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Nov 27, 2020

    I've wondered if districts will try to offer an online option moving forward, for students who have discovered that really works for them. Especially as a way to not lose students to online charter schools. I guess it would depend on how many really want that option in a "normal" year though.

    I know that at our HS, the teachers are complaining that many students chose the online option this year simply because they thought it would be easier/less time consuming than a regular school day. Yet many students are failing their online classes, so while they want the option, it's not necessarily the best thing for them.

    We have a small number of students in elementary that really thrive in the online setting and do better with that than they did in person. However, it's a really, really small number. For a small district like mine I don't think there is a way to feasibly offer an online option for so few students. In a really big district, they could pull it off because it would make more sense staffing wise. I know that at least one of our big metro areas already had an online option even pre-pandemic. Possibly that will be slightly more popular than it used to be.

    My district got rid of snow days this year (they're now distance learning days- students take their device home every night in case they have to go remote due to a quarantine the next day) and some have speculated that may be permanent. I'm not convinced, because in a "normal" year is it worth it to send supplies home and have students cart devices/charging cords back and forth every single day on the off chance that there is a snow day the next day? We get very few snow days; for most storms we're just expected to drive in it. In fact, numerous years there have been 0. So that seems like a whole lot of effort for something that may not even happen at all.
     
  4. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2020

    Since online isn't very location specific, why wouldn't an online option be a State offering, rather than a district by district thing?
     
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  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    When I started the year, about half of my students were independent study/virtual. The rest were hybrid, coming two days a week in person and spending three days at home where they would have me giving assistance through email, Classroom, or Meet.

    At the end of the first grading period, they could switch. Now I only have 7 kids who stayed independent study/virtual. The parents and kids both said it was way too hard to do work without access to a teacher, even when it is not in person. (We have been 100% virtual all except four days since August.)

    One of the writing prompts I did with my kids was asking them if they thought teachers would ever be replaced by computers. None of them said it would. They said that they needed someone who knew their learning style and cared about them as people, not just someone to present content. And this was coming from 14 year olds who can be hard to deal with on a good day.

    My DH & I were both planning to teach to age 55, but not we are thinking of leaving at 27 years. That would be in May 2021 (age 52) for him and October 2021 (age 51) for me.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Those options already exist in my state. I assumed the same would be true everywhere. The whole point of the district offering it instead would be to keep the per pupil funding for those students. If the students leave the district to seek out one of the existing options (K12online, etc.) then the district loses money. In the past, this was a tiny portion of students. If more families discover they like the online deal, it may become more of an issue for public districts if they're not able to offer their own options.
     
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  7. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    Nov 28, 2020

    What are you planning after that?
     
  8. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    My district is already planning to have a virtual elementary and middle school for the 2021-2022 school year since we have students who have thrived in this setting and there are teachers who love teaching from home.

    School, as we once knew it, will never be the same.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    We had hoped to travel, but who knows what that will look. Two of my friends and I had talked about having a catering and event planning service when we retired. We mentioned that way back in high school, and it still seems like something we would like to do.
     
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  10. CherryOak

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    I've got some MIA students, sure. I also have some who are thriving for the first time in their academic years. Should we really notice that and yet ask them to return to what isn't working for them? No matter what, education leaders should really challenge the status quo right now. Rarely are so many open to change as they are right now.
     
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  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My school will probably remain hybrid and offer multiple ways for our students to interact with their teachers and their assignments. I love this! I'm all for finding what works for each student and rolling with it. As is, I have students working online as well as students dropping off and picking up paper assignments. It's tricky to juggle, but it has worked for several months.
     
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  12. whizkid

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    Imo, some form of distance learning needs to remain even after all of this is over. Kids need to learn in a variety of formats.
     
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  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Yes, I agree. As much as I support and want us to return to in-person learning (whenever it’s safe!), there are students who need the option to learn virtually.
     
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  14. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    It was because of this pandemic that all of our students got devices to learn from home. The digital divide could no longer be ignored. If there was ever a silver lining in all of this, that was it.
     
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  15. Tired Teacher

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    I think we may see big changes in high school here. A lot of kids around here prefer online because they can just "getter done" in 1/2 the time of a school day. Then they have more time for fun. I think many who are independent workers who used to attend classes will stick with online. They are still allowed to participate in sports if they do online.
    The ones who go to high school purely for social reasons will probably still attend school. Also, parents may make some kids attend who do not have independent working skills. There is going to be a need for more online HS teachers here.
    I think elementary is a different story. The younger kids seldom can work independently. Also, they appear to be driving many of their parents insane at home. Also, for working parents, school is a safe place to leave their kids. Most adults here lack a lot of skills needed to teach kids to read, write, and behave . They need the elementary teachers to teach them how.
    Our district has offered online and correspondence courses for a lot of years as an option.
    I really think HS will see a huge jump of kids switching full time online.
     
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  16. HoltBri

    HoltBri New Member

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    Dec 13, 2020

    We have a very difficult situation in the world. And I think that we will be very strong when this is all over, but in any case, it seems to me that it will no longer be the same.
     
  17. TeacherNY

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    Even if some students want to remain virtual or do better virtually it will have to be based on whether or not someone can be at home with them. So many people are complaining that they have to "teach" or "homeschool" their kids while they have to work. I can't see it being a HUGE number that want to remain virtual in some areas just based on their complaining right now when there are no other options.
     
  18. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Dec 16, 2020

    I'm hoping for all-in. I have huge issues with classroom managmt in a virtual setting. The kids just tune me out, put me on mute when I start yelling at them to sit up, eyes on me , turn on your camera NOW. Only one-third of the class is turning in assignments. The only two-thirds I failed first marking period. I hope they got the message.
     
  19. zo_ey

    zo_ey Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2020

    I don't see a return to normalcy in 2021 as well. The pandemic was and has been grossly underestimated. Normalizing work from home and education through online modes has broken the conventional thought about institutions and structures. It has unsettled the post-industrialization norms of timings and discipline. The future would largely revolve around digital learning.
     
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  20. Guitart

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    Dec 17, 2020

    Online learning has thrown "you get what you get, and you don't throw a fit" back in our face. The parents and students choose to complete or participate when they feel like it and are forced to deal with it. Take it or leave it. I have about 25% of my remote learners that are actually following directions and turning in quality work. The remaining are no shows, shoddy work, and honestly, a reflection of how their parents value what we are trying to maintain.

    I think taking online learning seriously and accepting it as a legitimate and authentic method of education will require a cultural change. It will not happen over night.
     
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  21. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    Dec 17, 2020

    As it always does, offering quality online instruction will come down to how much money a school district has. My children attend school where there is plenty of money to throw around.... On the other hand, I teach in a rural high-poverty school district where many students do not have internet access at home so remote instruction is done via paper-and-pencil packets. So the future of education likely depends on where you live.
     
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  22. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    I think on some level, remote learning has revealed just how badly we have accountability and self-responsibility problems in our youth and families. I saw a lot of poor excuses for not turning in work. At a 1:1 device school, there's no reason the kids should suddenly not know how to use google classroom when they'd been using it at least since September, possibly for years if they weren't transfers. Funny how they know how to share google docs to spread salacious gossip, but not to do partner/group work. The school went with the "show grace" approach and removed any real consequences for not doing work. Leniency and understanding I can support, but throwing out the value of actual achievement is not helping.

    At least at my school, we also saw just how dependent many of our younger students are. So many of the 5th/6th graders can't/won't do anything on their own and want to be hand-held through every step. We had a serious learned-helplessness problem. They learned to ask the teacher for everything instead of learning where to find information and help themselves.
     
  23. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    Dec 18, 2020

    Who taught them what they learned?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
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  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I know around here in some schools it is the family's choice to do remote or in person learning. So some are choosing remote learning and not being forced to because there are no other options. So they should be held accountable like anyone else. It's just the whole "poor kids can't learn this way" but their parents have chosen this for them so should do al lthey can to actually help them succeed. But of course then they will say "the poor parents" and let them do what they want.
     
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  25. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    My daughter was in Connections Academy for 1 1/2 yrs until we put her back in regular school. Their online format was great. Schoology and Google Classroom, not so much. The one drawback with that online program is it kept her from being able to do marching band and sports with her local HS. The local school kept telling me they had to be enrolled in band or PE in order to do those activities and you couldn't be enrolled in two public schools at once. Go figure. If systems would use a format like CA, then their virtual option could be more successful.
     
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  26. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    That's frustrating. Maybe someday there will be a better system in place.
     
  27. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Not me, lol! I was new to the whole state last year, not just the school.

    In all seriousness, it did enlighten some of the grade school teachers to the problem. I ended up giving some unofficial PD on the method we used at the CC I had been at previously. It boils down to not giving answers to questions they can answer themselves, but instead directing students to answers with guided questions. Eventually, they learn to ask themselves those types of questions and are more independent. For example, if a student doesn't understand a reading passage in social studies, you ask questions to find out what the impediment is, e.g. Are there any words you don't know? Where might you find their meanings? or if it's getting caught up in long-winded paragraphs, What does that first sentence say? How does that information connect to the next sentence?
     
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  28. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Connoisseur

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    if you’ve read Tool for Teaching by Fred Jones, he says learned helplessness is learned very early and just gets worse and worse as the school years go up.
     
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  29. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I agree that learned helplessness can be learned early and get worse. It can also come about when what is being asked is so far out of reach that the student couldn't manage if they wanted to help themselves out. Sometimes this happens when intelligent students get by on their smarts rather than ever having had to use strategies to learn. When they start getting to complex materials that need skills and strategies to learn and understand the information, they can then become helpless and use this as a crutch if they encounter teachers who would rather give in to them than teach them how to learn. For a good number of bright kids, this happens in middle school but because grades were good for so long it is often looked at as a behavioral issue rather than a missing skill issue.

    So, I agree, learned helplessness can happen early and often does, but it is not the only time when it can happen.
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    :heart:
     
  31. Tired Teacher

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    Made me laugh b/c we have the same saying here. :)
     
  32. Tired Teacher

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    This is very true. I have witnessed it happen with some gifted students 1/2 my career. That 1/2 of my career, I mostly taught GT and it is a shame to see it happen to any kid ( learned helplessness), and with truly gifted kids if we can't convince them out of it, some just give up!
     
  33. zo_ey

    zo_ey Rookie

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    True with respect to cultural change. But with the daily cases in the US hitting 200,000 each day and a new strain of the virus, the chances of returning to normalcy is taking a hit day by day. I am comfortable with an institutional educational setup too, but covid has broken and introduced new norms and we have to live with it.
     
  34. zo_ey

    zo_ey Rookie

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    In no way did I mean to tell that the online mode is better than the conventional mode of learning. But practically speaking, "you get what you get" is what is thrown by the pandemic to all of us.
     
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  35. DamienJasper

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    Maybe someone can help me with some bright sides here. "The future of teaching". I wonder, now that we have to compete with established online education institutions (Khan Academy, K-12 online...), learning pods, home schooling...

    Where do we fit in? Do we fit in?
     
  36. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    I think you fit in. You were teaching before, you still are, and most students will come back to in person schools. From your posts, you are hanging in there, not wanting to leave. That isn't true for others posting on this board. Whenever there is change, there is attrition. For that reason, experienced teachers throwing in the towel in one way or another, you will be in more demand.

    I'm not certain, but I think it possible that it is harder for new teachers to start during these uncertain times. New teacher hiring and training processes seem pretty rigid to me. Too much bother for some employers at this time, greater frustration for job seekers; attrition from the other end of the spectrum. Again, you will be in more demand.

    This period forces the use of alternate methods. Those new methods will work for a number of students, as well as for a number of teachers. Driving the expansion of techniques is one bright spot. But more than enough will like the previous norm for you to work the way you like to work.
     
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  37. Milsey

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    I think we need to make People display their photos!
     
  38. swansong1

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    I don't see it as in issue of "fitting in". I see it as a choice students, parents, teachers, and others have in their education. We are not a one size fits all society.
     
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  39. AmberP

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    After this year, I think a lot will change. Only the parents were unhappy because the children stayed at home and they had to work. Still, I'm sure that education will improve.
     
  40. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    One thing that will definitely change is THE SNOW DAY. We can say goodbye to that! Honestly, if I can still work with my students and also avoid the possibility of a weather-related car accident, I'm happy.
     
  41. teacherguy111

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    My district has had a digital academy for a few years now. It started as credit recovery but then started offering electives etc. This year was expanded for all grades. I've made classes for it (get paid 1600$ to make them) and also teach in it as an extra side gig (100$ per student).
     
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