Written and transcribed by Jimmysodope
Imagine waking up early on a Monday morning and somehow you’re 7 years old. You brush you teeth, put on your favorite shirt, then you log onto to your 1st class of the day. Still sleepy. Some how your teacher managed to get you excited about, math? Both hands raised, she calls you solve a problem no-one else could figure out. As you open your mouth to give your answer, which is 100% correct by the way, and your WiFi fails. This is the reality of children everywhere experiencing school in the future. I asked 3rd grader Zamir Frazier what’s the biggest difference in his school experience…
Zamir Frazier – Well for instance we’re all on computers. Also now we need internet just to talk. Sometimes it’s bad, sometimes it’s good.
JSD – Although remote learning is impossible without WiFi, parents have more things to keep in mind for their scholars to be prosperous. Janel Rochez, the mother of a 1st grader shared her concerns
Janel Rochez – Remaining consistent, making sure the work gets done. It’s so easy to fall to behind. It’s not intentional but it can happen very easily. Making sure the space is quiet. Making sure the WiFi doesn’t go out. Making sure she remains engaged. You know she’s still a little kid and we’re asking them to do things we’ve never asked children to do before.
JSD – The school building, a once taken for granted resource is now missed by students teachers and parents alike. Director Tyree Barnes of Great Oaks Legacy Charter school gives insight to his observations.
Tyree Barnes – Some students have really struggled through the remote learning. Some students have also excelled in terms of having less distractions. It’s just me, my auntie, my grandma, my mom, or my dad or whomever. We’re just sitting at here at home in front of the computer and I’ve seen an increase in academic performance.
JSD – Evidence shows that peer learning creates greater confidence and independence in learning, deeper understanding and improved grades for both peer` leaders and theirs students.
Tyree Barnes – Social interaction is a key element of the learning. Right. Children learn best from other child. With that being kinda diminished at this time during the pandemic. That makes education a little more challenging.
JSD – School in the future has its obstacles but Director Barnes is confident that dedicated educators with a compassionate and optimistic approach can make a world of a difference.
Tyree Barnes – I know sometimes from the outside lookin in it seems like math and books and reading, yes those things are important but at the core of the work that we do, we build relationships. I think its largely been dependent on the facilitators energy. But to get our teachers and adults in the energy of being engaging and creative and fun loving and high spirited despite all the challenges that are happening. That is trickled down to, or impacting the scholar.
JSD – The team at Great Oaks Charter School is innovating the way educators interact with scholars to ensure togetherness in these times of physical separation.
Tyree Barnes – You know one of the things I’m really proud of my staff is that we’ve created spaces where students can kind of disengage from the academic so to speak. And just have community time with each other. Whether we’re watching cartoons and having breakfast together or having a discussion that’s less focused on the curriculum we need to get through for the year. But to build community with each other.
JSD – I got update from our 3rd grader Zamir and he ensured me that his wife is intact and game his predictions of what school will look like in the future…
Zamir Frazier – School would be space camp. And we would get to do things like be in zero gravity.
JSD – Students learning in space camp may be up for debate, but with dedicated instructors on the front lines, school in the future has well, a bright future. No matter how committed the educational system is to innovation, parents still should be as active as possible to give their child the maximum potential to succeed. For a list of resources such as tips to create a work f low for your scholar and free or low-cost wifi, visit www.projectreadynj.com
Hear the article via WBGO here! https://www.wbgo.org/show/wbgo-journal/2021-03-06/challenging-times-for-online-learning-in-newark