There are merits and pitfalls to both remote and in-person instruction. And they vary depending on the reason, setting, and age group. Of course.
I think instead of lamenting about one over the other; instead, of focusing on what we have loss, it is important to consider what we have gained. I know I have said this before, but it is a challenge and as a challenging reframe I have to repeat it.
I’m currently teaching adults three times a week online. I wish it could be in-person, I wish I could visit their classrooms, I wish I could sit with them and see more of their faces, reactions, etc. Absolutely. I do have moments and times where I know it could be better, if we were together.
However, I know I have much to appreciate in this situation.
I’m grateful for the flexibility of remote learning. I don’t have to leave the house–the weather has been atrocious so staying home is nice. I am pushing my creativity skills–I am rethinking, reorganizing, re-imagining the lessons I had planned, and the lessons I am giving. I am able to connect with talent and professionals beyond my immediate circle. I am connecting with teachers from across the globe, not just teachers near me. I am learning how to use new tools. Between Zoom, Kahoot, Jamboard, ClassDojo, Padlet, etc. there is more opportunity, than ever before, to implement and practice with new online tools.
Distance learning can be trying, draining, exhausting. I admit it. I also don’t want to be burdened with the negativity–or drained by it. I love teaching, and I hope that despite it all, I keep learning and growing as a teacher, even in these difficult unprecedented times.