By Nicole Heintzelman
Adaptable is how I describe myself and my students. Daily plans change and we must find ways to best deliver content to our students.
As an educator I knew when I joined this profession, I would be surrounded by the elite force of people who want every child to be successful.
Students have never come to us in a “cookie cutter” format, but as individuals with their own set of needs. Sometimes the needs are based on an emotional deficit, and other times it is based on an academic need that we are asked to support.
However, after the hit of COVID we became aware that students were coming to us with both emotional and academic needs.
We have adapted and conquered daily. Through various computer programs, such as IXL, Desmos, and Khan academy I have been able to provide learning targets that are individualized for each student.
Recently, I started doing math timings in my classes. Initially it seemed like an “elementary” thing to do, but I had major buy in. My students were excited to “master” their math facts and become more efficient in solving math problems. I had students test in and figure out a target area for focus.
Through various professional development opportunities, I have gained strategies to support students in collaborative work that challenges them to a point of success, rather than frustration.
Google classroom has been another equalizer for students. We can provide opportunities for learning to still happen, even when a student is stuck at home for any number of reasons. The google classroom has been set up to match what is being worked on here at school and provides one on one opportunities for questions through google meet.
Our team has designated a day to pull students and work on relationship building, because the emotional side of learning needs continued support. We take time to visit with students about how they are doing, what home life is like, and how we can better support them.
The better we know our students as individuals, the better we can support them in the classroom and have success.
Considering the excuses that could be used for this very trying time, I notice colleagues all around me rising to the occasion and seeking opportunities to provide the best learning environment possible for all students.
Every child deserves the best education we have to offer.