Hi Miguel, I appreciate this forum for t…

Hi Miguel, I appreciate this forum for the opportunity to express the challenge and gravity of this moment. I am in the Philippines about 20 minutes outside of Metro Manila. Most of my students live in Metro Manila which is now cut off from where I live and teach. Curfews and a strict lockdown have been imposed which means that only one person per household is allowed out on the streets to get food. It feels a little bit like what I imagine the days under Marcos’ martial law were like except now all restaurants and public places are closed accept for wet markets and supermarkets. All schools are closed except for international schools like my own which are doing distancing learning. I feel that one the best things we can do is to show understanding and empathy with our students and families. I’ve been doing this by check-in with my students to see how they are handling the lockdown mentally, emotionally and physically. I now realize that I can have to scale down the amount that I teach by a third whether or not we have Zoom meeting–I must simplify my instruction and expectations. I am definitely using more online tools to reach my students–Edpuzzle, Goformative, Padlet, and TED-Ed lessons have all become useful for moving some content and assessment activities often prior to a Zoom session. Zoom can be rather tedious so I need use Breakout rooms more to break up the top-down format of it. I am not sure how to do certain things with distance learning such as teaching drama. I tend to enjoy teaching plays because they are interactive and physical–I can turn my classroom into stage that allows games and play but on Zoom that seems impossible. The best option I have is for students to record a dramatic soliloquy or monologue with some kind of preamble to it–maybe I’ll use Flipgrid but the use of space which is much reduced. Our school meetings now are now of Zoom so that provides and opportunity to share in best practices with my colleagues and frank discussion of expectations is I think key to keeping balance for our students and community in check.