Share, email, print, bookmark SOURCE reports.

By Jae Goodwin


[broadstreet zone=”52093″]

FRAMINGHAM – In the coming days you will be asked to choose how your children will attend school for the remainder of the year. When you hear the words remote learning I sense that many things come to your mind. You might envision students plopped in front of computers bug eyed from too
much screen time.

Today I would like to tell you the real story from Community 27 and 33 my two classes and forty-four students. Our classroom is called Community 27/33 for a reason and the reason is unwavering, even in the face of a pandemic. We have all learned to respect each other and care about one another. In the fifteen minutes before and after school, students socialize and hang around just to chat.

We have all learned so much about one another. Students have formed friendships and bonds that might not have prospered in school where cliques and subgroups often dictate friendships.

[broadstreet zone=”53230″]

Students have taken responsibility for helping each member learn. They will jump in when they can be of help. There are many more opportunities to do so and this has bred an atmosphere of independence and growth mindset. Learning remotely has allowed us a window into each other’s homes and families. Grandparents and parents often pop in and not a day goes by when a pet does not come to fifth grade, including mine. We always unmute to say goodbye and thank you to one another at the close of each class.

Remote learning has given me more time to work one on one with students in breakout rooms. Students can be working in small groups and I can bounce around from one to the other. Breakout rooms are peaceful and quiet and students are not distracted with chatter from other groups as they would be in the classroom. Students have the ability to request a personal breakout room to work quietly when necessary and they do. Much more work is accomplished each day largely because there are few behavioral issues.

[broadstreet zone=”59946″]

In a classroom, students would raise their hand when they need me. Remotely students can raise their hand, send an email, chat me on Securly, write a question in the chat of our meet and yes, even blurt it out. I have so many avenues for communication, as do my students.

Due to necessity, remote learning has required the use of more technology and this has been extraordinary learning for students and for me. It doesn’t always go smoothly, so we are learning to be flexible and to be problem solvers. Routines are in place just as they would be in person. Recently, I momentarily lost the connection to our meet, but we had already talked about this. When I was able to log back in I heard the tail end of a conversation where a student was saying, “Don’t worry she probably just got kicked out, she will be back.” I was so proud to see that the students were able to keep going, even without me. Students are learning to be more independent and more self confident each time they are able to problem solve independently.

Each day we keep to a schedule not unlike one we would have in person. We are covering the standards, we are reading independently and together discussing our thoughts live or in our digital notebooks. We are writing each day and I am able to give feedback through comments in students documents and individual conferences. Students are thriving.

Today just before lunch I looked out at a sea of 22 fifth grade faces and thought, “I am so happy to see them smiling; I am lucky to be their teacher.” Don’t get me wrong, it is not easy.

I am working much harder than ever before to ensure that this continues to be the case. When you read the negativity about remote learning that unfortunately abounds, please remember that it is not all negative. I lay my head on my pillow every night happy that I am safely teaching from my home. Please know that these students are learning and will continue to learn this year.

Someday I hope we can be together and I can hug each and everyone, When that happens we will have learned so much from our virtual time together, but for now I am ok being a screen away knowing that all my students (and parents) feel safe, valued and cared for.

Every day they are engaged and growing academically.

Jae Goodwin is a 5th Grade ELA Teacher at Charlotte Dunning School in Framingham.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.