I would not want to be a teacher right now.
NOT AT ALL.
They are normally in impossible situations, but now the impossibility factor has leveled up a couple dozen notches.
Teachers have been sailing through uncharted waters for the past few months, and the unfamiliar seas are about to get even rougher, I think.
Wouldn’t it be nice if, in this unusual time, we let go of all the things we have been focusing on in education?
Especially for our elementary school students.
Let go of the testing.
Let go of the standardized bullshit.
Let go of the homework.
If we live in an area where schools plan to start in person in the next 8 weeks, I believe we will all be at home, distance learning by October.
All of us.
Our kids are going to be back to sitting in front of screens for a large part of their waking hours to learn in a couple months.
If we are sending kids back to school before shit inevitably gets shut down again, why not use that limited time to allow teachers to get creative?
Get the kids outside as much as possible.
Like all day.
Teach them how to do stuff they can’t learn when they are limited to a classroom. Or a computer screen.
Give them hands-on experience with skills that are useful.
You could spend the fall laying the groundwork for a kick ass school garden.
That’s a shit ton of math and science and home economics right there.
How cool would that be if the school designed and prepped an area for a serious garden so when they came back to school in the spring they were ready to plant stuff?
Teach kids how to pitch a tent.
How to play every lawn game imaginable.
Study plants and trees and flowers and insects. Not just in books but in actual real life!
Set a goal for a certain number of steps a day. This would be good for teachers and students!
Find geometry outside. Find nouns outside. Demonstrate verbs outside.
Build kites and learn to fly them.
Make compasses and learn to navigate outdoors without GPS.
Learn to draw things to scale.
I’m just pulling this stuff out of my ass.
The possibilities for learning outdoors in meaningful, useful ways are unlimited.
I know this wouldn’t be feasible for all schools and all areas of the country and all students.
But for many of them, it might.
Maybe it wouldn’t work.
But then again, maybe it would.
And if there was ever a time to try some things that are out of the box, I really think more than ever, the time is now.