By John Pearl, IPLI Mentor and Principal at Battle Ground Elementary/Intermediate School
Educators statewide are certainly mourning the loss of comfort and convenience. We long for structured, routine school days where student voices fill our halls and offices. We miss the “magic” that happens daily as we build and grow relationships with our students, families, and colleagues.
Times are challenging; however, Indiana teachers (motivated by Indiana Principals) continue to teach and serve. This post hopes to capitalize on the collaborative nature of principals, teachers, and school leaders. Think of it as a sort of “chat” where I propose a series of questions and a few comments I’ve collected. If you have an idea to share that relates to a particular question, email it to me (address below), and I’ll update the blog with our collective thoughts. No answer is too simple or too outlandish!
- In what ways are teachers staying connected with students and families?
Our corporation is suggesting two personal contacts at the elementary level weekly for each student in the class. Teachers are assigning Google hangout times for small groups and rotating the groups weekly.
Pick up the phone and call a couple of students daily to hear their voices. It eliminates echoing like on the devices.
Recording and sending morning announcements three times a week.
- How will you recognize Seniors, 5th graders moving to Middle School, 8th graders leaving for High School?
At Harrison High School, teacher Kathy Nimmer has started a twitter feed and invites teachers to celebrate Seniors- @Raiderclassof20 is filled with memories and shot-outs
Several schools have held “teacher parades” to recognize students.
- How will students be reunited with the contents of their desks and lockers? When might this happen?
Some principals have suggested teachers bag up and label supplies and leave them on the curb for pick-up.
Cleaning out lockers may have to be done at the start of our next school year.
- What about retention and standards not covered?
Research typically doesn’t support retention, but communication with parents is more important now more than ever.
Leaders at Hershey Elementary have created a document titled 2019-2020 vertical articulation, and grade-level teams share where they left off prior to the closing of school.
What can your colleagues and friends at IPLI do to support you at this time? Share your ideas and needs! [email protected]