Whilst attempting to teach photosynthesis online, to several year 2 students during remote learning. I learned something extremely valuable.
It wasn’t the the new overhead camera’s functionality, it wasn’t the ability to be able to switch between iPad or shared screen, and it wasn’t how to use zoom via google classroom. (I did actually learn these too)
It was that learning is all about, what I call ‘the exchange of engagement.’ Once the children were far away, in their homes and behind the wall of my computer screen, I dawned on me that I rely heavily on the unspoken communication between myself and the children.
• The child with the slumped shoulders who needs that extra boost of confidence.
• The eager student who wants to answer every question, with the intention to help his team.
• Or the puzzled look in a child’s eyes that says “I’m not quite getting this? Can I have a 1-1 lesson later?”
These were suddenly removed from my pedagogy and I realised that over the last 25 years of teaching face to face. Myself, like many teachers around the world, had not only perfected the art of spotting and managing these observations, but we relied on them.
‘Education will always be an exchange. An unwritten, unheard conversation between everyone involved in the process. Never unsetimate the importance of observation.’
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