There’s noth­ing vir­tual about what goes on in my class­room

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - David Can­tor, Bal­ti­more

I hope you are hav­ing a great day. Let me tell you about mine: I will turn on my com­puter, re­view my lessons, test my tech­nol­ogy and open a Zoom ses­sion. These will ac­tu­ally hap­pen in the real world.

My stu­dents will sign in to my Zoom ses­sion, open their browsers to their Google class­rooms, open their note­books, and sign in to the other tools we use in our class ses­sion. These events oc­cur in a real class­room.

Then four times to­day for just over an hour, this will re­peat. And my stu­dents and I will com­plete ac­tiv­i­ties and work­sheets. We will hold dis­cus­sions and de­bates. We will make pre­sen­ta­tions and give feed­back. These ac­tiv­i­ties will re­ally phys­i­cally oc­cur.

And my stu­dents will learn, they will dis­cover new pro­cesses and new ways of think­ing, they will be­come bet­ter ed­u­cated in­di­vid­u­als. And they will earn their grades and knowl­edge.

I don’t know what vir­tual learn­ing looks like, per­haps it is some game played in Roblox or Minecraft. There is noth­ing vir­tual in my class­room. There is noth­ing pre­tend in my classes. My stu­dents are se­ri­ously en­gaged in a process across a dis­trib­uted class­room. They are learn­ing, and I am teach­ing.

My class­room does not look like it did last year, but it is not pre­tend, and it is not vir­tual.

Dis­trib­uted class­rooms work when stu­dents, par­ents and teach­ers are sup­ported by their district and rec­og­nized for the real learn­ing and ex­pe­ri­ences hap­pen­ing. No it is not per­fect and ev­ery stu­dent does not learn ev­ery les­son. But it’s not vir­tual. And it’s not new that some stu­dents don’t par­tic­i­pate in the sys­tem.

The stu­dents that are fall­ing through fall through ev­ery day. Hun­dreds of years of study and ed­u­ca­tional re­search have not found the so­lu­tion.

But in my class­room to­day, stu­dents are learn­ing, and I am work­ing to pro­vide the best ex­pe­ri­ence I can in my class­room, no mat­ter what it may look like.

And some of the stu­dents that were fail­ing last year are thriv­ing this year.

I ob­ject to your ar­ti­cles’ and the CEO of Bal­ti­more City Schools’ de­scrip­tion of my class­rooms as vir­tual. They are not, it is not. I am a real teacher in a real class­room cre­at­ing real ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ences for my stu­dents.

Teach­ers should not be re­quired to re­port to the school build­ings un­til they are safe, with real HVAC sys­tems de­signed to change the air in a class­room, with real plans for hall­way tran­si­tions that re­duce stu­dent ex­po­sure points, with real guide­lines to pro­tect teach­ers, staff, and stu­dents in the class­room.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.