Wednesday, April 1, 2020

#SOL20 - Counting: Notes from the Pandemic

Skyline (M.A. Reilly)

I’m wondering tonight what it is I should be thinking about as a school district leader? What comes after and from this pandemic? What must my team and I be thinking about now when our minds are pulled to the immediacy of the moment? What are we missing that demands our attention?

I oversee teaching and learning for a city school system in NJ and have the privilege to work with a very committed and talented group of educators. We have cobbled together in 3-weeks a shaky foundation for distance learning, one where none had been prior. This meant that principals and their staff volunteered to come into closed schools to hand out chrome books to more than 9000 students, while district leaders figured out how to provide Internet services for a like number learners.

I know we have gotten elements wrong. I know we will look back on this and have a long list of ‘should haves’ that we missed, didn’t know, hadn’t considered, or didn’t understand. And even with all those limitations, something solid has been started.

My goal tomorrow is to get invited into five classes and to see better what learning looks like from that vantage point. I don’t know what doing this will teach me, but I feel it is essential. I want teachers to ask their students, ‘how do we best support them and their families and their learning?What must we get right?’

I’ll let you know how that goes.


So many things to count,
to count on.

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