rights & responsibilities

With the current discussion around the reopening of schools and businesses, there is little understanding of how accomplish it safely. I understand that many business owners want to generate revenue and employees want to return to work. And, I know many kids want to return to the classroom...just as most teachers and professors do. But, reopening schools and reopening businesses are two vastly different notions.  

I do not have the answers. I trust the scientists, physicians, immunologists, and other highly skilled people to find the answers. Yet, the divide between science and politics is evident in this country. Some want freedom, and to "liberate" their state from quarantine, while others wonder what else can be done. And, I think the image below sums up this argument quite nicely. 

Either way, school will look very different going forward. UC, CSU, and many community colleges have opted for online learning (distance learning) only for the Fall 2020 semester. While distance learning is better than nothing, it makes me wonder about the pedagogy and the practice of learning online. Education as we know it is changing. For some, this is a good thing. For others, this is terribly frightening. For me, it just shows that technology alone will not fix education. Students have a right to quality education. As educators, we have a responsibility to shape it into something amazing. 

Each new craze proclaims that the house is falling down, even as it does nothing to repair the real, foundational problems…

William Rankin 

distance learning

Practicing my social distancing in the El Dorado National Forest. Giving a lot of thought to the idea of distance learning. Remote learning sounds a bit isolationist, I suppose. Educational continuity sounds too stuffy and a bit like a business model. 

How do we continue to educate students when they are no longer in a physical classroom? For the past 100+ years, students attended class for 180(ish) days and the magic happened in a set routine. With the COVID 19 pandemic, this is no longer the case. 

Maybe this is the chance teachers have wanted for so long—a chance to redefine the educational landscape. Maybe this school closure is an opportunity radically change school. I don’t know what that redesign looks like right now. No one has the answers. But, I’m having this conversation with others...and I’m optimistic about the changes ahead.