Teachers and students have leaned into the challenge of moving from school-based learning to home-based learning
Redeemer’s school building is closed to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but our students are still learning. Not only are they learning, they resumed their classes on March 25th and are on track to complete their Ministry of Education requirements. In a span of mere days, teachers transitioned to an online learning platform called Edmodo, became proficient at video conferencing using Zoom, honed their video editing skills and made themselves available to students for online support.
Teachers and almost all staff are working remotely from their home “offices”. Some teachers are “assisted” by their children, others get distracted by Lego and forts, some teachers escape to the quiet of their bedrooms, while others take over the dining table or living room. No matter where they are working, Redeemer teachers are engaging with their students. “Teachers are doing a really good job adapting to the online platform,” said a student in a recent survey. “It’s neat to see how much they want us to learn.” While most students would rather talk to teachers face-to-face and participate in live in-class discussions, 97 percent said they could effectively and efficiently ask questions and receive feedback.
Overall in the survey, students appreciated how quickly the Redeemer staff organized online learning, how easy it is to access teachers and how supportive and caring the teachers are. While there were a few technical and scheduling challenges for some students at first, they soon adjusted to a new routine. One student noted that “online learning has helped them improve their self discipline.” Some students commented that they appreciated the ability to be flexible with their time, others liked being able to work at their own pace and many students appreciated being able sleep in. “I’m so thankful for online learning and that I can still work and get my credits,” expressed one student. “I’ve enjoyed Zoom meetings and having the ability to still connect with everyone.”
When Redeemer moved to home-based learning, the staff planned how to assess student learning through an online platform since assessment and feedback are integral to the teaching and learning process. Currently, student progress is assessed through open book tests, performance tasks, weighted assignments, Zoom conversations and Edmodo quizzes. Last week students received their mid-term report cards and later this week teachers will have an opportunity to speak with parents and guardians about how their child is doing during parent-teacher interviews by phone.
With the challenges and joys of COVID-19 the staff at Redeemer are encouraged by our weekly Zoom meetings. We have an opportunity to do devotions together and share with each other. A recent devotion was based on Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”