The past few weeks has been a great example of the 3 major stakeholders working together: school; parents and students. All 3 have stepped up and taken their responsibilities seriously for the greater good of the student’s education.
Our teachers have done extremely very well during the school closure. We have kept to the same timetable with a video link for each lesson. We did have to modify things a bit as not every child has access to a device for every lesson.
With that in mind we ‘Flipped The Classroom’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCIxikOq73Q
I did some work with parents and explained what good teaching and learning should look like. It certainly wasn’t the teacher talking for a long time and not to expect a lengthy delivery from the teacher. Learning takes place when students are actively engaged in an activity, followed by teacher feedback.
Videos of lessons were sent home of the teacher input or at times videos from the likes of Khan Academy or written material to read, along with assignments or tasks to complete.
During the video lesson, the students who could tune in to the video lesson (most of them) would be greeted by the teacher and see their class mates. The teacher would ask if everyone had understood the task and would deliver and clarify the main teaching points and expectations. Students would then complete the task at their desks. The teacher would check with small groups or individual students for understanding or give feedback on a previous assignment. The teacher would remain online for any questions or queries from students or parents regarding the assignments. The teacher would finish by saying goodbye, reminding students of deadline dates or showing example of ‘good work’ for some of the students.
For many if not most of the classes we have 100% attendance. However for those students who could not ‘attend’ the online aspect of the ‘lesson’, the teacher would arrange for a one to one with them at some stage during the week.
So far so good, and to date our parents have been very positive about the experience. Although learning has been interrupted, it certainly has not stopped. This has been a really good example of the 3 major stake holders working together. Teachers planning, delivering and assessing as usual. Parents ensuring students are supported at home with correct resources and on time for lessons, and the students participating with enthusiasm and rigor.
My final thought is, although COVID 19 has literally closed the classroom doors, it has also opened doors to a world of learning in a different way, that is here to stay.
Well done Team BNIS.
By Mr Jarlath Daniel Madine, Principal of Beaconhouse Newlands International School