This morning, I read and shared this story.
I had an idea about how to turn that into a blog post but there were people who read what I shared and did the heavy lifting for me.
It generated a couple of interesting replies.
I totally get Fiona’s response and it might have been tempered from her original reaction to the story.
Lisa Corbett was the voice of reason.
As Amanda Potts notes, a simple suggestion isn’t always possible.
Going about regular life takes me by a couple different schools, including my old secondary school. And guess what? I saw classes outside at them all. But I’d be lying if I said that every class was out there.
It’s difficult to believe that the classes outside were the result of a missive from the Ministry of Education. Even as an elementary school student myself, I can remember a number of times we had our classes outside. Some, like Physical Education are a no-brainer. But I can recall inspiring lessons from teachers outside under a tree. It was almost like they’d been freed from the shackles of the classroom and more opportunities to do exciting and applied things was possible. Or maybe it was just a chance to get out of a stiffling, humid room.
If I had to bet, many of these outdoor classes would have happened anyway.
In the time of COVID, the outdoors offers another level of safety when done properly.
Of course, this option isn’t available to all classes although you might get that idea from the title of the article. I’m thinking particularly of classes that require the use of equipment that can’t be moved. I would have been one of them in a computer science classroom where access to networked computers kind of puts a limit on things! At the secondary school panel, as we know, not all students are taking all classes in the physical building.
I have to smile when I think of all the time and effort that was put in to keeping the wireless signal inside the school.
But, to Fiona’s response, schools are not living in the good old days where everyone sits in one seat all facing the same direction looking at the teacher dispersing learning from a podium.
As I see it, if a classroom teacher is willing to and it makes sense to shake up the classroom a bit, they’ll be doing it without some sort of mandate. It’s just the right thing to do for good teaching and learning, when it fits.
Now, maybe if a different look about EQAO testing was in the discussion, it could get exciting. Quite frankly, unless that some along, it’s time to move along, there’s nothing to see here.