School Online – Journal – Day 17

The calm of the morning in Sunny Slope

Finally, a day when I managed to get to the end of my inbox, and step away for a moment or two! I am hoping that this means that our teachers are settling in as well.

There is still confusion about our timetable, from both teachers and students. And our system doesn’t allow for two attendance entries on the same day, so the period 2 classes who meet again in period 4 are not tracked accurately.  The period 1 classes are working asynchronously in period 3, so we don’t record attendance then.

We are slowly matching up teachers on leave with their long-term occasional replacements, although the transfer of online LMS components is much slower.  And there are still a number of teachers to be hired, so interviews will be conducted tomorrow.

Our community school guidance counsellors don’t have the ability to manage our waitlists, so that’s a challenge that will have to addressed soon, in order to get students into the last available seats in our very full classes.

But I am hearing as many successes as failures today.  Hurrah!

Let’s see if I am as successful tomorrow when I will be teaching two classes back to back for two hours each, with only a 10-minute break.  My classes are large: 37 in one, 38 in the other.  And so I’m giving them lots of time to work in smaller groups, sharing information in a Google Slides stack.  The first group I met last week, and the second are a new group to me as their instructor was asked to take on another class. So they will have missed our icebreaker, community-building activity.  I wonder how this will make a difference in how we work together.

One of my university students went to the other section of our course on Monday, and stayed. And now she wants to be excused from our class tomorrow.  While it makes some sense, with only nine classes and lots of group work, she really needs to be with our group.  It was tough to say “no” to her.

Tomorrow is a Day 2 for our secondary school, and we’ll see how many teachers and students end up together in the correct space when our periods 1 and 2 flip.  I really hope that everyone is re-reading their Staff Handbook, and reminding their students of the schedule.  It’s not quite the same as standing in the hallway, waiting for your class to arrive.  If you’re in Google Meet, or MS Teams, and no one shows up……..

I think it’s going to take teachers some time to get used to the sequence of classes: Synchronous, Synchronous, Synchronous, Asynchronous in a repeating pattern over two days.  Once they get in the rhythm, I think it’s going to work well.  Having a “work period” is a common practice in F2F classrooms, and this builds it into the cycle.

I’ll be interested to hear how our teachers are feeling in a week or two!  Let me know how you are doing, in a reply to this post.

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