Parents & The Concurrent Classroom

Below, you’ll find Jared’s most recent thoughts on what we’re starting to call, in the parlance of Catlin Tucker, the Concurrent Classroom. Jared and I are both teaching in this environment: students in the classroom (aka “roomers”) and students concurrently attending via video conference (aka “zoomers”).

The model presents challenges, so I highly encourage you to read Jared’s piece below. But I want to share some thoughts on a conversation that I had with a parent this week, a conversation with the father of a zoomer.

As we chatted, I got a window into the unique frustrations that these students face:

  • poor audio quality,
  • cameras not setup to cover what matters,
  • teachers who accidentally fail to bring students out of the waiting room or properly set up the video conference.

While this parent shared these frustrations—and while I reflected on the challenges I’m facing as a one of the teachers potentially foisting this poor model on my students—he refused to condemn the teachers. Instead, he expressed appreciation for all that we are trying to do.

However, as I spoke with this parent, I thought about the fact that his child is a particularly conscientious student, the sort of kid that’s going to do everything asked, and has the confidence to ask questions to clarify assignments and material.

What about the other kids that haven’t yet developed these self-advocacy skills?

As COVID cases rise again, I can’t help but think that we are just at the beginning of our concurrent classroom journey. Jared’s “preliminary sketches” provide a much needed beginning to the conversation. I encourage you to read them—maybe even twice—invest in some of the articles he’s linking (and are linked in “From Around the Web” below), and reflect on your practice as an educator in this role.

I would love for us to build a robust conversation around our experiences in these situations. Use the comments on Jared’s post for that! Share your experiences!

Also, as always, we are looking for teachers who are willing to share their experiences. Check out the submissions page!

This Week on ROOTED

Hybrid Classrooms, Part One: Preliminary Sketches for a More Humane Solution
The value of a brick-and-mortar school rests, not in the mechanisms of control it has at its disposal, but in the unpredictable and ever-unfolding community a social space makes possible.

From Around the Web

In addition to the first two links, both of which are suggested reading for Jared's article this week, I've included a few practical items. Daniel Pink's piece on "measuring worker output in real time" might help us to think about cultures of surveillance that often permeate our schools. Erin Zammett Ruddy's article on saying "no" goes well with my article last week about creating boundaries in your professional life. Lastly, Adam Gamoran's article on the necessity of anti-racist education is full of links to resources.

Happy reading!

Why Are Some Kids Thriving During Remote Learning?
Though remote learning has brought many challenges, some students seem to be thriving in the new circumstances. What can we learn from them?
The Concurrent Classroom: Using Blended Learning Models to Teach Students In-person and Online Simultaneously
Teachers all over the country are being asked to teach ‘concurrent classrooms’ in which some students attend class in person and others attend virtually. The teacher in a concurrent classroom attempts to meet the needs of the students in class
The Good and Bad of Measuring Worker Output in Real Time
Quantification boosts productivity if the task is simple, but demotivates if the task is complex, a Stanford study finds.
Anti-Racist Education is Essential for Research Universities
Adam Gamoran, president of the William T. Grant Foundation, reflects on the importance of Anti-Racist Education for Research Universities.
A 5-Step Road Map for Saying ‘No’
Time-management expert Laura Vanderkam shares 5 steps for reclaiming your time

Favorite Tweet This Week

This is it, y'all: "The ruthless elimination of hurry." This should be our mantra.