Remote Learning: A Day in the Life
By Kristin Esham | Parent at York Elementary School
Let me start by saying that I am not a blogger or an elementary/preschool teacher. I am a stay at home mom of three children ages 9, 7, and 3. I have an incredible amount of respect and awe for our teachers, school staff members, and administrators, who are working tirelessly to make sure our students continue to be engaged in learning during this incredibly uncertain time. But the secret is out. They’ve been this awesome all along, folks. I, like many of you, am getting a dose of reality when it comes to education. I would say I identify more as a facilitator than an educator at this point, but I have had some small victories lately. My goal is to provide a glimpse into our distance learning journey at York Elementary School, here in Raleigh, North Carolina.
A Day in the Life
I tried to heed all early advice from teachers and administrators about the importance of a schedule, while still maintaining realistic learning times and staying flexible. Flexibility does not happen to be one of my strengths. I have a daily schedule posted and try to start our day at the same time each morning. My first grader loves to start the morning with a dance on the free website GoNoodle.
Each morning I help my son log in to the Wake County website and access his Google Classroom and the Seesaw app. The first-grade teachers at York have all the assignments and learning opportunities organized in a weekly update, with links to each assignment. This makes it easy for me to see what he must complete by Friday. It also gives flexibility for when we chose to work on each assignment.
The teachers are working as a teaching team and each teacher is the lead for one subject. Teachers post videos introducing a concept on Google Classroom and then the students complete an associated activity on Seesaw. My son loves to hear his teacher’s voice on instructions for assignments. He is remarkably familiar with Seesaw and can do many of the assignments on his own.
The special area teachers are also using Google Classroom to provide opportunities for distance learning. They are using a combination of videos on BrainPop Jr. and other sources. This is a great way to keep up some sense of normalcy. My son likes to do his specials assignments on the day of the week he would normally visit their classroom.
Hands-down one of my favorite times of the day is signing my son on to Google Meets. He reads each day with his assistant teacher and meets with his class weekly. His face lights up when he sees his teachers and his friends. The smile is a testament to the incredible community we have at York Elementary School. A community that extends beyond the walls of a building and reaches into the hearts of the students, teachers, staff, administrators, and families.