From the Field
Everyone has been impacted by the new COVID-19 reality. Teachers, especially, have been impacted, as they have had to develop new and effective ways to continue to work with their students.
One of the Collaborative’s current online STEAM teacher professionals, Ronda Sternhagen, has demonstrated how Collaborative thinking skills are useful for schools as they adapt to this new reality. Ms. Sternhagen teaches grades 5-12 visual art at Grundy Center Middle School and High School in Grundy Center, Iowa.
Define the problem. School districts are trying to figure out how to deliver content to their students. Questions like, who has Internet access and who does not? Who has a device to access online content and who does not? There are more questions than answers right now but the first step is to identify all the challenges.
Change perspectives. One has to ask themselves, "Is this truly something that I have to leave my home for?" Do I really need to run to town for one or two items or can I wait? This involves changing perspectives from supply needs to health needs.
Collaborate. The coming together of teachers and other community members to make masks and donate them to first-responders is a great example.
Create. For instance, in my community, we are creating virtual choirs and with teachers and a staff video for our students
Communicate. While educators try to find new and innovative ways to communicate with their students, teachers are also finding new ways to communicate with one another. In my case, being in a rural district with about 400 students in the 5-12 grade building, staff is close - you know everyone. A group of us now have a scheduled Google Hangout every Monday and Thursday night at 9:00 pm just to chat, hang out, find out what everyone is doing, how our own families are getting along, etc.
These are just a few creative ways that we’re adapting to our current situation in my community. How are you using your creative and innovative thinking skills in adjusting to COVID-19?