In this episode of the PEBC Phenomenal Teaching Podcast, students Estella and Killian and their Virtual Advisor Karen Goodman share their experiences as learners in their virtually connected classroom. It is informative and joyful to listen in on all the successes, challenges, and favorite memories as Estella and Killian share how they grew as a readers, writers, and thinkers! Both Estella and Killian highlight how they grew in terms of independence, time management, and self motivation. In addition, Killian shares how his writing took off this year via writers’ workshop and engaging in meaningful inquiry projects. While Estella shares how she went from a student who didn’t really like to read to a student who is always reading; in fact, her bookshelf is overflowing and she is now taking books to family gatherings!
Karen shares how she grew as a teacher and how she had to practice the Jefferson County Open School principle of “adapting to the world as it is” to meet the needs of her 33 virtually connected 4th, 5th, and 6th grade learners. Karen prioritized maintaining personal connections, facilitating authentic inquiry projects, and utilizing workshop structures to maximize engagement, increase understanding, and to instill joy in learning. Killian and Estella hope that teachers will continue to be awesome (like Karen), practice flexibility, help students persevere through challenges, bring fun into the classroom, and recognize that virtual learners have become more self-directed and responsible. Most importantly, they want teachers to trust them as capable learners when they return to in-person learning environments in the fall. Karen hopes that students will recognize all that they have achieved this year and the importance of perseverance.
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