Leading Learning in 2021/2022
In the United States, measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a sudden, nation-wide shift in how teachers manage their classrooms, deliver instruction, and facilitate students’ progress. You’ve had to move very quickly, and without much notice, from the familiar brick and mortar classroom to the unfamiliar confines of home…
by: Darlene Wilgus | March 9, 2021 6:08 pm
Like most leaders, once we jettison semester one, we are not just immersed in the second half of the year, but we move to all things planning for the subsequent school year: budget, staffing, forecasting, best practices, and communication pertinent to these areas if we want to be leading learning.
One year ago, this week while attending the Digital Learning Collaborative(DLAC) conference in Austin, TX, the keynote speaker and director, John Watson said in his opening address and I quote, “The future of education is here, it just isn’t widely distributed.” Little did we know that less than a month later, the 100-year-old educational system would be upended in ways none of us could have predicted and certainly had little to no time to systemically plan for a response that would meet the needs of all community stakeholders.
So, the outcomes may not have been entirely clear and measurable, but you have been living that reality for nearly a year. Blended learning is on most district’s agendas as patrons demand in-person learning for their students, but around every bend, there are bridges to be crossed with little to no GPS or Waze to whisper in our ears to turn left, right, or make a u-turn.
Given the above, how do you and your leadership team prioritize decision-making regarding fall? Since the media prognosticators are telling us that we won’t have herd immunity till at least fall and the vaccination rollout doesn’t even get at our age 15 and below students, a robust virtual learning program for K-12 makes sense. For every student that doesn’t return to their neighborhood school due to safety concerns and the dollar/cents hit (FTE) to your budget scenario, developing and partnering with a trusted blended learning provider now, gives time for the thoughtful planning of resources and answers for your parents that will seek options.
Thinking from a personalized options perspective vs. a static view of the school building and classroom. Leading learning is about options to personalize learning. One of my colleagues in this digital learning landscape said it best, “One family has a bedroom school student that is flourishing, gets work done efficiently and has the rest of the day to play; his sister however is a butterfly girl flitting from one interest to the next and really could benefit from the structure of a traditional classroom.”
Will your decisions reflect the diverse needs of the demographic you serve?
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