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How can I fish without the hook?

May 4, 2020 am31 10:21 am

“I’m a showman. That’s my teaching style. How can I fish without the hook?”
– W.O. Former student, current teacher

Last night a friend asked:

So, what makes it more work and harder with the distance learning? Is it just unorganized? More paper work for you?

W.O. nailed it. Succinct. I go on wordier.  Here’s how I answered:

if I sit near you, and you ask me a question, I can understand from your question what you are thinking –
I can “sense” what your misconception is, and ask you a question that points you in the right direction, then confirm that you’ve “got it’
I’m good at that. And it doesn’t happen on line
I can ask a question, and hands go up – but I can read the body language in the room – are most of the kids on board? all of them? And I can adjust speed, spend extra time, or push ahead
Now, no body language
Grading – a pile of 100 quizzes, 20 – 45 minutes – depending
now the equivalent sort of assignment? At least 3 – 4 hours, maybe more
everything is a click, a download, a wait, another click
reading on the impossible screens
Grading – typing the grade, typing comments
another click to send the comment
another click to return the work
And planning – If I am going to teach a lesson – at this point 5 – 10 minutes, usually 5, to jot notes about what I need to do. Maybe I pre-plan a key example or two
Now, I need notes for the kids to read. That 10 minute lesson can take 1 – 2 hours to write out with all the details in place

I’ll add that I’m learning an inferior platform – that I have emails coming in on multiple accounts – and that tracking them takes work. In a classroom response, I can check if the child understands, and we can continue the conversation until that happens – but via e-mail I have to wait – and there’s no face to face verification.

And to top if off, all of this, exhausting and draining – and the students are learning a lot less.

I’ve written about this before –

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