Working with Online Elementary Teachers

Today I am working with elementary teachers who are writing courses for an online school. Whatever your stance on virtual schools, the most resistance is in the elementary sector (a totally subjective statement, by the way). Many of these teachers (who haven’t even started writing their curriculum) have had push-back from colleagues on the issue of kids’ social and developmental needs. But, when I asked the teachers at the beginning of the session why they wanted to be a part of this project, these are the reasons they gave:

    • Why should we limit the opportunities? There is no way for all students to benefit if we have a one-size-fits-all model.
    • There is something to be said for working with kids who may fall off if we aren’t there. The kids are already on the bleeding edge. We need to meet them there.
    • Students are not engaged by redundancy. They are engaged by novelty and by authenticity.
    • Survival isn’t for only the fittest, most savvy, or greatest players of the “education game.” It is for all.
    • If we aren’t worried about including the curriculum, the students, the pedagogy, the technology, or the authenticity that matters, what are we worried about?

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