#T2Tchat: What Your Fellow Teachers Are Prioritizing This Summer
Your fellow educators came together during our recent Twitter chat to discuss the ways they are learning and growing this summer! We’ve collected this roundup of a few responses to each question, and we hope you find inspiration, a book you’d like to read or a new strategy you’d like to try next year.
You can see more – and add your own voice to the conversation! – by scrolling through #T2Tchat on Twitter. Special thanks to our moderators, educators Akilah Ellison and Ashley Washington, for facilitating the discussion. We hope we’ll see you join an upcoming #T2Tchat, too!
- What’s on your summer reading list? What summer reads would you recommend to fellow teachers – and why?
- What’s a strategy or tool you tried in the spring that you plan to bring back in the fall – and why?
- What’s a challenge you encountered this spring that you’re looking for ways to address?
- When it comes to equitable and anti-racist education, what is one practice you’d like to shift in your classroom or school community?
- Share ways you can collaborate with fellow teachers to grow your practice – even during distance learning!
- Summer should be a time for self-care, too – how are you making time to rest and rejuvenate this year?
- You are teaching through such a difficult time. What would you say to lift up a teacher friend in a tough moment?
What’s on your summer reading list? What summer reads would you recommend to fellow teachers – and why?
“This summer I’m expanding my knowledge on antiracism. (We’re doing a school study on Dr. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist). I’m also catching up on YA novels in verse. I just finished Inside Out and Back Again and am about halfway through The Poet X.” —Educator K. Fishman Weaver
“I’m working through Me and White Supremacy right now. Next up will be Necessary Conditions, for some math PD. I’d really like to get to Daring Greatly, too, but may not make it. A greatly good recent summer read was The Silent Patient. Would recommend!” —Teacher Andrea Biro
“1. The Distance Learning Playbook to build knowledge for teaching online (How can you go wrong with @DFISHERSDSU @NancyFrey & Hattie); 2. ELL Shadowing for developing stronger learning experiences for our ELLs; 3. Geese are Never Swans @GRANITYSTUDIOS for a great read and 4. How to be an Antiracist since we need to learn about identifying biases within ourselves.” —Educator Ana Morales
“This summer, I’ve been reading novels that highlight authors and protagonists of color: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by @KSekouM; The Hate U Give by @angiecthomas; Long Way Down by @JasonReynolds83; New Kid by @JerryCraft; Stamped by @DrIbram.” —Teacher Coach Q
What’s a strategy or tool you tried in the spring that you plan to bring back in the fall – and why?
“I plan to broadcast labs live from my room then follow up with assignments about the lab. The live broadcasts help students to feel like they are part of the class. Students can also interact with each other through comments. It builds the classroom community.” —Teacher Jeff O’Shields
“I hosted informal family nights. I’d meet with my parents for a family meeting one night a week for about an hour. They could ask questions, address concerns, share the struggles of being at home, & we could brainstorm together. It started out with a few – and ended with many.” —Teacher Ms. Witherell
“During a co-taught synchronous lesson, one co-teacher provided modeled instruction on jamboard and the other provided feedback to the math problems students were working on @peardeck, which provided for instruction + feedback to occur simultaneously.” —Educator Matt Rhoads
“Broken record here: I LOVED having authors, scientists, business owners, people from various cultures and more visit us virtually. We met people and learned more than we ever would have with a textbook. I’ve already started scheduling for the fall.” —Teacher Lisa Liss
“Our grade level conducted ‘Social Snack’ Google Meets for our classes at a certain time each day. It was nice to hear Ss chat and brought a sense of normalcy for all of us.” —Teacher Paige Visbeen
What’s a challenge you encountered this spring that you’re looking for ways to address?
“Supporting parents in Distance Learning. When a student in SPED is at school, their team shares the cognitive load of support. During DL, all of that load is put on parent(s). This fall, we need to redefine the way we support families (emotionally and academically).” —Teacher Martin Odima Jr.
“Last year, everything was asynchronous. This year (different school), everything is synchronous. I’ve had practice with a 3-week summer camp at my new school, but that will be a challenge I think! Different systems!” —Teacher Casey Chon
“How do I support families/caregivers in supporting their students? I found a lot of ways to share strategies and saw success, but I want to be able to increase THEIR feelings of success and help them feel capable of extending the learning beyond the lesson.” —Teacher Amy Campbell
“Getting students to talk to each other by responding to each other’s work on our digital platform instead of doing their assignments in isolation. Comment features allow for more collaboration!!!” —Teacher Cait O’Connor
“Keeping kids interested and engaged and online. I lost a lot of that personal touch when we went digital. I’m worried that #SEL will be so different and how do you address that across the expanse of the virtual classroom?” —Teacher Ms. T
When it comes to equitable and anti-racist education, what is one practice you’d like to shift in your classroom or school community?
“I would love to see our schools incorporate more diverse and inclusive texts in their curriculums. Our scholars can’t be what they can’t see, so now is the time to bring awareness to advocate for CHANGE in the world!” —Teacher Coach Q
“I want to encourage my students to question me! Sometimes they may know more about something than I do, or I might do something wrong. I need to be open to hearing their criticism and learning from them, and they need to know I actually WANT them to correct me.” —Teacher Ms. Strauss
“I really want to see the way we discuss data and gaps in knowledge change, especially things like using the terms ‘low, ‘regular,’ and ‘gen ed’ to classify our classes when good pedagogy works for all and the real difference is our standards we set for them.” —Teacher Aaron Bodey
“Implementing community agreements, mutual understanding of antiracist practice and restorative justice through community reading as a starting point. Some of my favorite titles are: Just Mercy, The New Jim Crow, So You Want to Talk About Race, and many more!” —Teacher Cait O’Connor
Share ways you can collaborate with fellow teachers to grow your practice – even during distance learning!
“Schoology has been our platform for PD and collaboration. We’re able to create courses in Schoology and post discussion boards, Google Jamboards, Live video chat links, etc. This allows Ts to learn from each other and grow while they work in any location.” —Teacher Martin Odima Jr.
“I have started using Twitter and the #PLN. Collaborating with colleagues over Zoom meetings to plan and collaborate. Learning to use social media as a tool for collaboration.” —Teacher Victoria Lowe
“As Instructional Coach/Reading Specialist, I don’t ask Ts what they need, because sometimes they just don’t know. When I meet with a T, I always bring resources with me & I offer to observe their classes so I can gather ways to support their work.” —Educator Peg Grafwallner
“We created a GroupMe for math teachers at our school just for gabbing. It has helped us feel connected.” —Teacher Patty Green
Summer should be a time for self-care, too – how are you making time to rest and rejuvenate this year?
“After leading a virtual summer camp, I’m taking the next few weeks to read a LOT, put together my first planner with stickers (I’m so excited) and figure out a system that works for me to organize myself, and keep updating my IG!” —Teacher Casey Chon
“Reading for pleasure, doing jigsaw puzzles, exercising daily, spending time with family.” —Teacher Karen Bloom
“Taking up meditation, swimming and jogging: helps relieve stress and noise in my head. Cooking and reading is wonderful. Starting today, baseball will definitely help.” —Educator Ana Morales
“I started a 4 week boot camp on my elliptical. One week done so far and I’m already feeling so much better. It’s been a great way to channel my nerves into something productive. Also doing lots of gardening this year, though it’s not normally my thing.” —Teacher Andrea Biro
You are teaching through such a difficult time. What would you say to lift up a teacher friend in a tough moment?
“The work you do matters. Students won’t remember if you met every lesson objective or if the technology flopped. They will remember that you listened, encouraged, and kept showing up.” —Educator K. Fishman Weaver
“Flexibility is the key!! If you ever wanted to learn something new or try something out of the box, now is the time! We are all first-year teachers, because none of us have ever done this before! We got this!!” —Teacher Carla Icenhower
“The brick and mortar are not the school. WE are the school. We chose this path. We are the beacon of light for our students when they need it most. What we do matters.” —Educator Ms. Grey
“It’s ok…ask questions, rely on your teacher community. We are here for you. Make technology your friend. This too shall pass.” —Educator Debbie Lewis
“We are in this together. I am here to support you.” —Educator Kimberley Thompson-Hairston