Teaching from home

Year 2020, we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, and many schools are closed all around the globe. So lots of teachers have migrated to an online approach from one week to another, and some (like me) have to look after their kids while teaching from home.

This situation deepens the educational divide, many teachers and schools struggle every day trying to avoid that the socioeconomic differences among their students result in educational differences. But in this conditions, without face to face instruction, these teachers have a worse time than ever.

Some teachers are handing sending out pdfs with notes and homework, but there are families without internet access, devices or a printer to allow the students at home access to those resources. However, this crisis also show us the best side of human beings: I have seen (in the media) volunteers and law enforcement agents delivering those resources to their doors and even a motorcycle club which delivered printed homework.

I know teachers who are making phone calls to contact their students and families to talk, give support and check up on them. Those of us who have the means engage with our students in video conferences.

It is essential that our students see that we care for them and feel us close, so video conferencing has become a must in these confinement days. This technology can be used to give a lesson to a full class or section, the students can participate almost like in class, the teacher can call students on to participate or show their work to the rest of the class. Video conferences help engage with the students in face to face communication, it can't replace the "skin to skin" communication in school, but it's the best we can do from a distance.

In my case, I feel that I can't manage a video conference with a whole class since I'm alone at home looking after my two little kids (and playing with them too). What I realized I can do is having one to one video conferences, even if they start climbing up my back, so I set up some five minute sessions each day that my students can book to video chat.

What I've been doing is sharing with my students recorded video lessons, throwing questions at them to make them think (exactly how I'd do it in a regular lesson), asking them to solve some problems, solving them afterwards, assessing their note taking and engaging in chats and one to one video conferences.

Below you can browse this interactive infographics that shows my methodology/workflow these days: