When Covid-19 shut down the world, educators worldwide were posed with a brand new challenge; how do you take your "performance" in front of a class and translate it into lessons that can happen in absence of a classroom?
Teachers across the globe had to adapt very quickly to teaching in a global pandemic as administrators tried to figure out how to make sure the kids were taken care of amidst a host of uncertainty. It wasn't an easy task. Many teachers were posed with a paramount challenge of adopting technology in a very short amount of time.
It was only a short eleven weeks ago that the world was fully open and blissfully unaware of what would come next. There were urban legends about a bat in China that would wipe out the world population. Since that urban legend became reality teachers stopped going onto their campuses, some classrooms left mid project. Teachers then had to figure out how to keep teaching happening.
There were a lot of questions as teachers logged on to their very first "Zoom Session" that would eventually culminate into the new normal. Teachers started with the uncertainty of not being "made for television" while still being concerned about the interaction and ability to help their students from a computer screen. Teachers went into training over their spring breaks to make sure that the children of the world would still have the support that they need.
In the eleven weeks that followed the initial closure (starting ironically on Friday the 13th), Encore's amazing teaching staff sprung into action.
1. At the close of this 11 week teaching experience, over 2600 classes were recorded and uploaded to YouTube for students to continue to learn.
2. The teaching staff altered their grading scales to accommodate the "learn at home" time for students that did not ask for their lives to be changed.
3. Teachers emailed their students and their parents to make sure that everyone was on the same page.
4. Encore's amazing IT staff worked with the individual student to get Hot Spots to students with connectivity issues.
5. Encore's reception staff worked with the teachers to mail out paper packets for the students that wanted to stay traditional with paper.
6. The students adapted to the change and learned how to reach out to their teachers to learn how to succeed in a different teaching structure.
Encore looks to today, a week after Zoom Sessions have closed, as a successful end to the school year in a very strange and unplanned time. Encore's faculty has done an amazing job of supporting their students. Students are still completing their homework and turning it in until June 8, but the school year did come to a successful end.
Encore thanks our amazing teachers. Whether you loved technology or steered away from it, your love and devotion to your students and to your subject surpassed your fear of moving into a digital world. For the love of your career and the love your kids, you moved away from the fear of technology, embraced it, and successfully helped your students. 2600 classes is a lot of information to memorialize your hard work and dedication to Encore. Thank you for all that you do.
Petey the Pirate is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's Arts program is currently taking applications for the fall 2020 enrollment. Transportation is available through the Inland Empire (15 and 215 freeway) and the high desert. www.encorehighschool.com. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredtied. Copyright 2020.