Today is my first day back in school. Lots of changes, lots of thoughts.

Went to Staples before I came in this morning and got a fresh notebook and planner to kick off the year. When I arrived, I did yet another training this morning about how not to be inappropriate with kids… always a blast. This time, even though we were all in the building, we all sat in our rooms and did it virtually. It’s going to be a crazy year. 🙂

Started working through Schoology, our new instructional delivery platform today. Made lists of things to accomplish and worked through the big one.

As I go through this process, it hit me just how frustrating this is going to be for all my ADHD and LD students to get into this online thing. I pray for these kids and their parents. I’m a grown man and find myself quite frustrated… and I’m motivated to do well! Many kids will not have that advantage.

So, I think as I create assignments for these kids, I need to keep them short, sweet, and video/audio based. Very little typed stuff and very succinct step by step instructions.

Also, it was great to talk with other adults/teachers again! From what I’ve heard, I know I have a lot for which to be thankful. My employer has been more transparent and proactive compared to many other school divisions, even though there’s still much work to be done. You don’t want to have big unanswered questions when kids arrive on your doorstep as a school… I can’t imagine what it’s like to be an administrator right now.

As far as instruction, I think I know what I’m going to do and I’m actually excited about most of it. This situation is really going to give many kids a chance to shine that they wouldn’t have had with things being “business-as-usual.” Asynchronous online teaching is going to be a struggle for many, but it’s going to open up a lot of opportunities for even more. At least, that’s what I’m hoping.

I will share more as we go. I want to keep these ruminations short and sweet. The hope is that these PandemUSic Ed posts will be encouraging and helpful for other music teachers out there as we struggle through.

God bless!