The New Better (pt. 2) – Successes

Skip Tyler

This is a follow up post to the previous post (The New Better (pt. 1). If you haven’t read the previous post, go back and start from the beginning. 

When we left off, the participants in my keynote presentations were asked to identify the successes of “pandemic teaching”. After consolidating ideas, I asked participants to submit their top five responses using the app Mentimeter. The results were displayed to the whole group as a word cloud. If you are not familiar with them, word clouds are a great way to communicate text-based data at a glance. The more a specific word or phrase appears in the submitted data, the bigger and bolder it appears in the word cloud. This quickly shows the text that is more common throughout the group. 

The word cloud below is a combination of all my keynotes for the “successes during pandemic teaching”. Take a look at it and identify 4-5 words or phrases that connect with you. Are there any words that surprise you? Are there any words that you disagree with? 

of pandemic teaching

Successes of Pandemic Teaching

When doing this in person, I asked the whole group to select a few words and provide me with an explanation or justification of their choice. Here are some responses and justifications:

  • Collaboration – It was important to work together since this method of delivery was new. Teachers were sharing digital resources to help each other out. 
  • Planning – More time was devoted to figuring out how to best deliver instruction.
  • Feedback – Students were able to receive immediate feedback because more self-checking materials were being used.

It was nice hearing that teachers could recognize that positive things did happen during virtual teaching! Upon hearing their comments, I asked teachers if the strengths they identified were still a strength THIS year. 

  • If it was a strength, kudos! 
  • If it wasn’t, why not? Why would something that was identified as a strength not be a part of the current school year? If the response is time, find something else to take off your plate that is not as important. 

This is at the heart of “The New Better”! How are we adding the strengths from the last few years to our instructional toolkit? 

I’m interested in your thoughts and rationale! What words resonated with you and why? Please share!

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