THANK YOU – TEACHERS & EDUCATORS!
As Ohio schools finish this year under the distance learning restrictions, many teachers are feeling disheartened, disconnected, and overwhelmed by the experience of teaching during this pandemic. I know that all of TomTod’s staff and partnering teachers have felt exhausted and frustrated by the scramble to connect with students over the last two months. Yet through all the stress and uncertainty, teachers and schools have still found ways to teach and care for students!
We at TomTod want you to know that all of your work matters, it is important, and we see the effect you have on students. Soon the school year will end and the conversations on how to prepare for possible social-distancing restrictions during the 2020/2021 school year will begin. To pass on our appreciation, and to help you prepare for next year, we are breaking down three takeaways educators can celebrate and learn from this school year.
MOMENT OF JOY
Thank you, teachers! This is truly A Teacher Appreciation Week for the Ages.
Thank you for teaching through a world-wide emergency!
Remember this year was not planned distance learning – It was EMERGENCY distance learning. You can be proud of the vital role you are serving for students during this world-wide emergency, and you can also be kind to yourself by keeping this experience in perspective. According to Charles Hodges, professor of Instructional Technology at Georgia Southern University, one huge difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning is that the “typical planning, preparation, and development time for a fully online course is six to nine months before the course is delivered.” Many teachers this year transitioned to distance learning in 3-7 days!
As you prepare to possibly utilize distance learning again next year, we suggest taking time to reflect on the learning tools you used this year through TomTod’s Student Voice Surveys, the SAMR model, and the Universal Design of Learning guidelines. We hope these tools can help you celebrate your successes this year and learn new online teaching techniques for the future.
Thank you, educators, for spending the extra time, energy, and effort to ensure students are learning!
Thank you for staying connected to students in spite of all challenges.
Data from a survey conducted by Education Week, reporting from the New York Times, and a survey of 5,659 teachers by Fishbowl in April, all confirm that connecting to students during this pandemic has been a significant challenge across the nation. The charts below from Education Week reveal early insights from teachers on the realities of teaching during COVID-19. In spite of the challenges of technology, schedules, and stress, teachers continue to find creative ways to keep students connected and learning. Thank you, educators, for using your creativity, time, and money to stay connected to your students!
Thank you for caring for the essential needs of your community.
Never has the vital role of schools and teachers in a community become more evident than now. When students needed food during this crisis, schools stepped up to help. When schools were forced to switch to distance learning over the weekend, teachers stepped up to help. When students needed connection, celebration, and joy brought back into their lives, entire school districts stepped up to help.
Thank you, educators, for ensuring your students were cared for and felt supported!
Want to ensure your students are connected, inspired, and created this summer?
TomTod Ideas is offering a three-week online summer camp called Camp What If for students from Stark and Summit Counties in Ohio. This is a special Camp What If as we embark on an online adventure aimed at helping students to see their important roles as heroes in their communities! Camp What If utilizes art, community explorations, and augmented-reality experiences to empower students on the journey of embracing the heroes they already are by creating the next BIG IDEA for our community. For more information on Camp What If for your students, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your work this year! We hope your students can join camp this summer! – The TomTod Staff.
Subscribe to receive Educator Explorations in your inbox!
TomTod’s Daily Adventures and Educator Explorations are free and available to anyone to use. If you find them valuable and have the means to do so, consider donating to support this work.
Thank you and Adventure on!
– The TomTod Team