A global pandemic is not an event most experience in their lifetime. When something so unpredictable and tragic happens, it is inevitable that lessons are learned in the process. Every parent, K-12 teacher, and student has had different experiences with their remote learning semester depending on their unique circumstances. In a recent conversation, Pearl Arredondo offers advice to K-12 teachers for the upcoming school year.

Advice for K-12 Teachers Thinking About the Next Remote Learning Semester

Pearl Arredondo is someone who continuously strives to do better and be better. She has faced a lot of struggles not only in the educational world but in her own life as well and one of her biggest takeaways is that communication is key.

As a teacher, refining your communication and collaboration skills is of the utmost importance for unity and organization within any environment, but especially during a remote learning semester. Pearl shared how she never chased a title or upward mobility in her career, and ultimately that has gotten her to where she is today. The most important task for her was to make sure that she was creating the best education she could for her students. She did not care if what she was doing would get her a promotion or higher pay.

Pearl emphasized that her overall goal was for the students – not herself – and that is what made her and her students so successful. With the extra time provided thanks to COVID-19, she recommends taking some time to relax and turn your brain off for a moment. Take a moment to slow your life down and reflect on the past. 

Pearl talks about how educators are always fighting the clock and talking about how they never have enough time to get their work done. Now is the time. Slow down and take a look at what programs lack, how they impact students, families, teachers, and staff. Most importantly, don’t forget to remind everyone along the way that we will be okay.

Takeaways From the Remote Learning Semester

Technology has played one of the most prominent roles in the success of remote learning. With the dedication and hard work from teachers to rapidly learn and adapt to new technology and resources so quickly the remote learning semester was quite the whirlwind. 

Sean Coffron, Instructional Technology Training Specialist, reminds us that the primary concern for K-12 teachers has not changed since the remote learning semester. The overall goal for any teacher has to be to promote learning and student development. K-12 teachers are the reason students are able to thrive during their educational career – whether traditional or remote. 

Sean tells us that teachers need to remember that they are the most important resource in the room. Technology is implemented to aid and assist a teacher. No computer or piece of technology could replace the value of a real-life educator. During our 2020 Professional Development Summit, Amy Sharp gave advice to teachers to fail forward. Make a mistake, learn from it, and keep moving on. She said, “Something will go wrong, and be okay with that.”

This school year, take more risks. K-12 teachers should continue being creative in the classroom the same way they were when the remote learning semester began. Now that technology has integrated its way into education, the traditional tactics of learning are charming. Use the skills acquired during the remote learning semester and curate ways to implement them into a new classroom environment.

At the end of the day, do what is best for the students. Education is first and foremost about the student, so create meaningful relationships and build a classroom that best fits the needs of the students.

Listen to the full conversation with Pearl Arredondo on our Tackling Tech Podcast!

On this episode of Tackling Tech Podcast, Brett McGrath speaks to Pearl Arredondo, Principal and one of the founders of the San Fernando Institute for Applied Media, a successful pilot middle school in LA. In 2013, Pearl gave a Ted Talk about her difficult upbringing and passion for teaching. In this conversation, Pearl shares her thoughts on Reform Education, reaching students in difficult situations, the present challenges of remote learning, and using technology to educate.

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