To the Editor:
In response to the special report, “Social-Emotional Learning: Make It Work” (April 8, 2020), it would be appropriate to talk about the teacher’s role.
There are educators currently going through an identity crisis. As we all have moved to distance learning, some have lost their passion for teaching because they see that their in-classroom experience has been completely altered. Distance learning has taught us that teachers do not need to be the source of all knowledge but, instead, the one who provides access to knowledge and orchestrates learning around such knowledge.
Leveraging what makes teaching human, teachers can save their cognitive energy for building relationships, assessing student conceptions, and providing personalized feedback as part of a formative instructional approach. Teachers need to ask and answer:
•How am I sustaining relationships with students? It should be through some sort of communication at least once per week.
•How am I providing an avenue for evidence of student thinking to be displayed? It could be a picture, video, or voice recording. I used to have students take pictures of their work and post it on our online platform for feedback from me and peers.
•How am I providing an avenue for students to receive personalized feedback? It could be through individual verbal check-ins or detailed written responses.
By leveraging what makes teaching human in 21st-century learning, we can optimize our instruction with technology integration to maximize student outcomes, especially while distance learning.
A version of this article appeared in the June 03, 2020 edition of Education Week as Leveraging What Makes Teaching Human