And then.

In 2020, and in the years before, I set and mostly met, a goal of writing a blogpost each week.

And then.

March of 2020 happened. Our schools, like all schools, went to a full remote learning model. Seemingly overnight, all that we knew, had been trained for, all our experience, learning, and insight, was reset to zero. All of us were first year teachers. Not just first year teachers, but first year teachers with the additional challenges of a pandemic.

And then.

I learned that educators have grit. I actually knew that before. But man. Grit. Capital G. Took the impossible, and through relentless passion and drive, lifted a centuries old education system online. Glitches? Problems? Mistakes? Sure. Insurmountable. Not even close. Teachers would’t let it happen.

And then.

Our district will be welcoming kindergarten kids back into schools tomorrow. These are kids that have had kindergarten through a screen, seeing, singing with, laughing with, and learning from, a gifted person through a screen.

One of our gifted educators, along with a gifted student, created a series of protocol videos that are too good not to share.

We’re ready. Nervous. Excited. It’s September in February. Starting school. And while our experience was reset to zero in March, it didn’t leave us. We’ll go deep rather than wide with our learning. One of the toughest challenges for our teachers, as it always is, remains the desire to do more.

Please colleagues. Go slow. Love on the kids. Build on the relationships you have started online. If it’s the choice between 5 more arithmetic problems or laughing/crying/singing with your kids, laugh, cry, and sing.

We got this.

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 38 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 7 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years. jnelson@fifeschools.com twitter.com/jeffnelsonTLI

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