We need to catch up and we need to do it now!
What and who are we catching up with?
We are in the middle or rather hopefully coming to the end of a pandemic. It says it all in the title ‘pandemic’. We are all in the same boat, we have all missed more school than we have attended. We are all seriously behind with our schedule, timetable and curriculum. So, we are all trying to catch up to something that no longer exists. The schedules and timetables were designed for a time when a day off was rare and working from home as a teacher was incomprehensible. These schedules were for a time what seems long ago and not for now not for today. So, my advice is STOP! Stop trying to catch up, stop trying to get to where you were last year or the year before or five years ago at this time of the year. This is where we are now. These are unchartered waters. We are doing our best and the children are doing their best and that is all that matters. Forget looking back at where we should be, but look forward to where we are going. We are all survivors of a pandemic. We are still here and we are still smiling. The children are playing and having fun and that’s it really.
Well, no it’s not that simple so here are my thoughts. Focus on skills-based learning. Children need to be trained in using the enquiry-based skills and this is achieved from exploring and investigating. It might not always go to plan but in Science it is never ever wrong. Every activity is an opportunity to learn about the world around us. Children learn through hands-on minds-on activities. In the early stages of training to be enquiry-based practitioners you have to invest more time. More time in planning but less time stood at the front of the class teaching. But we haven’t got time, we are already behind I hear you cry. What or who are you behind? Remember we are all in the same place in this journey. Take the opportunity to train our students to be resourceful and resilient. To take responsibility for their learning. To collaborate and communicate their ideas. This is how our children will learn. We have no idea what their workplace will look like but we do know the skills that they will need. We can use this time to give them the gift of an enquiry-based tool box that is full of life skills that can be used in all subjects for the rest of their lives. Project based learning lends itself well to learning of enquiry-based skills. It is also fun and allows children to be creative and to work in school or remotely.