Five Things I Have Learned During Virtual Learning

Sunday, 6 September 2020
"Teachers Can Do Virtually Anything"

Virtual learning has been a real experience.  It has been very different than I ever expected, but I’ve already learned so much along the way.  I officially have one full week under my belt and feel like I’m finally starting to get in the groove of things.  I’ve spent some time reflecting this weekend, and here are five big things I have learned through this process.


1.    Virtual Learning is NOTHING like in-person learning.  I teach kindergarten, so this is my perspective.  I’m sure teachers from other grades might have different opinions than I do, but I think we can all agree that teaching and learning just isn’t the same online through a computer.  I am having to be concerned about the screen time of my students, conscious about the type of work I am assigning because they may not have help at home, and there’s just no way to fit a whole day of lessons we would typically do in the classroom, into a day of virtual teaching.  I am currently teaching live 1.5 hours per day (divided into 2 sessions) and trying to hit the big topics and slide other content in through various books during read alouds.  I would much rather have my kiddos all day at school so we could learn all the fun stuff, I could help them with their work and hands on activities, and we would have limited screen time because we were busy engaging in the real world with each other.


2.    The mute button is amazing. 😂  I never thought I’d see myself teaching the first days of school online.  It definitely wasn’t easy and it was so strange to teach the students how to mute and unmute….and then see their mouths move and them wiggling all over the screen but never hear a sound. Hahaha  I could literally just continue with the story and not have to stop and redirect anyone 100 times on the first day!  It was so strange to be teaching and reading in a completely silent room.  After I got through a couple more days, I really began to appreciate that mute button more and more.  I mean this in the nicest way possible because I'd love nothing more than to have them all in my classroom, gathered around a rug where we could truly dive into a good book and discuss the story as we read along together.


3.    There is some amazing technology out there.  We are required to go into work and teach from school.  I was so thrilled to do this after what we went through in the spring and trying to teach from home.  We got these awesome boards that have been amazing as we are trying to teach through this pandemic, but they will also be awesome when the students get back to school.  My Google Meets look huge on this screen, so I can really see my student’s faces.  I have a remote that will let me zoom in and out, as well as move the camera around.  So I can teach from anywhere in the room!


I love my new technology!  It is amazing!

4.    I miss real life interaction with my students.  I am thankful for our daily Google Meets.  I am thankful for their smiling faces and getting to see their eyes light up as they learn something new or realize they know the answer to a question.  I am thankful that I am able to hear their sweet voices and giggles.  But, nothing can replace actually being in the classroom with these amazing kiddos everyday.  I miss the hugs, the high fives, the dancing and singing together (it’s just not the same virtually), doing all our letter activities, and so much more!  A computer will never be able to replace the feel-good feelings you get from real human interaction—especially with my sweet kinderbabies! 💕


5.    Virtual teaching is waaaaaay more work than anyone realizes.  Several “outsiders” have commented that I must not be doing much work right or that my job must be really easy right now.  Those people are CRAZY!  There are so many rounds of trial and error to figure out what works for the students in my class.  The prep work is killer and everything we plan to do for each week has to be meticulously planned ahead of time.  We are doing weekly material pickups, so if we don’t have everything planned exactly right, then it will completely throw off my lesson plans for the week!  Last week felt like running a marathon to prep for the upcoming week.  If we end up doing this long term, I hope things get a little easier as we go along.  But, last week just about took me out!


So how is Virtual Learning going for you?  Any tips, tricks, or successes you’d like to share?  Feedback from my parents has been very positive and that is truly keeping me going until I can get my kinderbabies back in person.  I am so thankful for this three-day weekend to rest and recover, but I’m ready to dive right back in on Tuesday and see what kind of progress I can make with my class!

1 comment

  1. I hope kids return to the classroom soon. I worry about how this will affect their content knowledge long term. I personally felt the NTI packets from the spring allowed MORE content than my grandson’s online lessons this fall. I know it is such a struggle for teachers. I am so proud of each and every one of our Kentucky teachers. Only a teacher can truly understand what an enormous undertaking this is.

    Love & prayers, Tammy Goble