Five reasons why lockdown may change teaching and schools for the better for ever
Updated: Oct 7, 2020
The lockdown, the closed schools and the restrictions we all face are horrible. It is the worst of times in schools but it will end and when it does, the beleaguered and browbeaten optimist in me is looking for the good things that will emerge.
Putting doom and gloom to one side, here are the top five good things I believe will emerge from school closures. 1. Face-to-face teaching is recognised as invaluable. Lockdown has shown everyone, everywhere that we need teachers and face-to-face teaching by skilled, experienced practitioners. Good teachers cannot be substituted with automation. Also, many families have found teaching even one child at a time is a lot harder than they thought. Through doing without us parents, children and governments around the world have learned just how important teachers are. 2. Online training for teachers has come of age. It used to be something of a novelty and not always considered of substance. Now there is a real opportunity for quality CPD to be done quickly and cheaply in a more convenient manner. At the same time, this greater openness to online training creates opportunities for teachers to train others and share their knowledge with a wider audience. 3. It has made us all take a critical look at the value of meetings. Online meetings can be quicker, more meaningful and have no travel costs. Many of us cut back on meetings during lockdown, learned we could do just as well without so many, liked it and will continue with (some of) them on Zoom and Skype when schools reopen. 4. Schools everywhere can use blended learning to widen the curriculum and cover local shortage. Online learning is part of school life now and no longer a novelty. It can provide interesting, realistic and exciting opportunities in the future. With staff and pupils with more skills and confidence online, maybe we can take advantage of new courses delivered remotely in our schools or we can reach out to children and schools in need in other places. 5. Pupils will appreciate their schools and the community they provide. Although our pupils may not be yearning for lessons and will always count down the days to a holiday, it seems clear they truly miss their life of school. School really is the central core of the lives of so many families and it’s absence has underlined just how important it is.