Sunday, April 25, 2021

Learning Gains

This post has been brewing inside me for the last few weeks. I listen to state representatives and parents lament all the "learning loss" from this past year. I prefer to look at what we accomplished as learning "gains". We are so fortunate to live in a time when digital resources allowed us to keep up with all our students this year-even those who were safer learning from home.

Let me tell you about the gains my 1st Graders made. These 6 year olds are able to navigate programs like Pear Deck and Teams. They even start their own Teams meetings in the evenings (this is discouraged of course). They take screenshots and change their backgrounds. I have a student who even figured out how to put a picture of herself there so it would look like her camera was on but it was her background!

They have learned about resilience and how communities can come together to help protect each other. I never have to remind my students to wear a mask or stand 3 feet apart from each other-they do it without being asked because they care about each other. They learned this year without workstations and collaborative groups. Did we have a few students who did not participate regularly, we did. But I have faith that next year those students will be able to catch up on what they missed.

Teachers have received so much vitriol this year both from our elected officials and the general public. I read comment after comment about how lazy we are and  how we obviously do not care about our students. It was heart-breaking. I think it's important for us as a profession not to fall for all the lectures on learning loss. Let's focus on our successes this year-because there were a lot of them! I am so proud of my students and of our profession this year.

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