Undoubtedly most teachers came in with a plan, but as in everything about this pandemic as
well as in teaching, we have to be open to flexibility and change. So together with my AP students, we have found a common ground to make learning and teaching work remotely whilst using the best researched practices.
The choices made have been presided by criteria that will continue to make their learning interesting, challenging, relevant, viable, and innovative. In order to make this possible, my AP students and I are using an array of platforms: Turnitin for submissions and calendar overview of assignments and TEAMS, which is quite interactive and our medium of choice for our daily class deliverance, to name a few.
Most importantly and together with upholding academic excellence, this new normal has given the school community the opportunity to cast a protagonist’s role to Humaneness, a key factor to continue putting into motion all of the aforementioned on our path to resiliency.
-M. Alvarez, Ed. D
Humaneness is precisely what we, as students, desire the most during these trying times. We
long for sympathy, understanding, and above all, human interaction. We are all confined to the walls of our homes, but together with the challenges of social distancing, it has shed new light and awareness to our lives as well as a new paradox of proximity; we are farther away, yet more united than ever.
As students, we are grateful for the privilege of being able to receive online classes, nonetheless, our
computer screens have replaced our desks and classrooms. So how can we fill that void? Thankfully, educational approaches such as Socratic Seminars require the collaborative peer interaction we all miss and need. Our AP class, is grouped into 5 Socratic Seminar Groups. We were all assigned a project with the purpose of creating a presentation that introduces eighth graders to Shakespeare and his play Romeo and Juliet. We were asked to keep in mind the different learning styles in a fun, interactive and informative way. Our group wanted to create something that immersed our audience into the world of Shakespeare. So we came up with the idea of a virtual tour, which gifts the younger students an experience that interests them and takes their mind away from our new normal.
After agreeing on the idea, we had to create a script. This became therapeutic because it resulted in a three-hour call in which we discussed our experiences of our quarantine, we caught up on each other’s lives, and we got the job done; the script was created and it reflected our uplifted mood of the moment. So as Mrs. Alvarez mentioned, Humaneness, at this moment became utterly apparent and real; it is our way back to resilience.
Thankfully, the interaction needed for this assignment, helped us put our confinement mindset on hold and ultimately make our presentation what we envisioned it to be. Through the incorporation of quizzes, videos and other kinesthetic elements, we are convinced that our 8th grade audience will be engaged and motivated in a process of self-learning and empowerment, an extremely important skill for today’s education and the global challenges of the moment.
Maritza Álvarez, Ed. D
The link to the student’s finished project: https://youtu.be/L-Bsi5OkCwo