Educators this summer: the horizon of next year's tech, learning loss, and more community pressure on schools.
While students are away from school this summer, many educators will become students. They will participate in various learning opportunities offered through their district or other educational institutions over the next few months. This time will allow them to become familiar with their curriculum and tools and build community support.
Last week, my district finished school, but yesterday I saw our commons area filled with new and returning educators across our district. This was a professional learning opportunity for educators to dive into their curriculum, evaluate resources and develop assessments. This annual three-day event is planned right after students begin their summer vacation. With the curriculum fresh in their minds, teachers can start planning for next year. Teachers are concerned about their students. They understand that students will need a variety of opportunities, including in-person, to fill holes or maintain their learning. This event isn’t a stand-alone opportunity that teachers will take this summer. Educators will spend the better part of the summer preparing for the upcoming school year, from making name tags to taking professional development courses to help them increase student achievement and engagement.
Educators will also learn about various technologies throughout the summer through professional development classes.
These will be important to help students achieve success and incorporate new technology trends. Since remote learning, teachers were “forced” to make technology a visible part of their classrooms. Now rarely will lessons be taught without technology Electronic? Learning tools and online resources will help meet the demands of leading the state standards. Ideas such as robotics and gamifying the classroom will increase students’ engagement. Teachers become familiar with these tools will increase student confidence and abilities in academic areas, programming, and problem-solving skills. Summer School may be a perfect place to test new resources while helping with students’ learning loss.
Community meetings can also be held in the summer, and they are a way to include other perspectives for the upcoming year. These are an excellent way for parents and community members to see what schools are doing. Not only were teachers in my district involved in the professional development this past week, but the district provided opportunities in the evening for parents and community members to attend sessions on standards and grading. There will be increased pressure to do more with less in light of teaching shortages in the coming months. With the help of volunteers and creative problem solving with community involvement, we can ensure that we are all speaking the same language and help our students make gains.
As teachers become the students this summer, they will learn how better to meet the demands of teaching with newer technologies, build lessons, and involve parents in the process.
When we work together and speak a common vocabulary, we can ensure student learning and help them recover from learning loss. With increased scrutiny, educators must take time this summer to reflect on past practices and look to the future with hope and renewed energy. This will allow us to learn from experiences and discover ways to meet these challenges that will be placed in front of us next year.
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