"What am I going to do NOW!??!"
I cannot teach in my classroom
Students will be wearing masks
They will be inside plexiglass cubicles . . .
They cannot SING!!
I have a theory . . .
We are several generations into what I call the "Sesame Street vs Mr. Rogers" kids, all grown up now. Sesame Street was, and still is, a fast-paced show in which the cameras focused no longer than 3-seconds on any one shot before moving on. Now the generations who grew up with Sesame Street are creating TV shows, video games, movies, etc. If you watch a TV show and are shaking your head because you cannot follow the camera, that's why. Three seconds and it's gone! Mr. Rogers, on the opposite side, was a calm influence on children, encouraging them to increase their attention spans, deepen their thinking and problem-solving skills. And I love the 21st century version— Daniel Tiger. How clever! Calm, quiet, but very on-target with social and kid-friendly issues.
OK, But what does that have to do with my problems NOW?!?
The COVID-19 Classroom,
Children are different and have different learning styles. The COVID-19 classroom (not just music) should contain the best elements of all educational theory. I'm hoping to see more of the "Mr. Rogers' Method" of quiet, calm, simple lessons on screen than the flash and dash that children are growing accustomed to watching.
No matter the situation, children need calm, quiet, confident teachers. Especially now.
Sit quietly, teach calmly, and just be yourself.
BE ON TOP OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES!! Not under them.
How on earth do I do that?
Use the lesson plans you are comfortable with. Video yourself in your own classroom. If you teach from home, your students will be curious about where you live. Talk to them, show them your pets, your kids, whatever. Choose two students to share with the class about themselves each session. If you are in-person, you can do this also. Don't dwell on the negatives of the virus but don't ignore it either. If it comes up, discuss briefly and move on.
If you are teaching remotely through Zoom (or any other platform), going from room to room, or still teaching in your room, here are a few other suggestions.
BE CONSISTENT!! Begin each class in the same way you did last year—a song, echo-clapping/singing, a movement activity. Children need consistency and normalcy.
Be Intentional. SET EXPECTATIONS. Set your "classroom" rules, expectations, and consequences at the very beginning—virtual or in-person. And BE CONSISTENT!! Students who do not comply, are sent to the "Waiting Room" for their first offense and then sent out of the classroom to be logged back in if they continue to be disruptive. Or to a designated area in their/your in-person classroom.
Simple and direct. My 4 rules were the school rules—Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, and I added Be Kind. There is even a song and rap to go with these rules—Positive Behavior Rap!
Use the Powerpoint, or these great posters!
Click on the little envelope at the
top or bottom of this page and
you will receive these posters FREE!!
Be Creative! MOVE! Have a plan that involves movement. This is so important no matter whether you are teaching remotely or in person. Teachers are depending on screen-based lessons more than ever this fall. So in the music class, wherever it is, movement is crucial!
Students can stand and march in place, turn circles, touch toes, walk around desks, and many other things while "social distancing" or at home. Be creative! Use this crazy situation to your advantage and make it FUN!!
BE INTENTIONAL! Be prepared with solid, sequential lesson plans based on the standards and pacing guide from your state and/or district. The INDEX included in this Unit 1 Bundle gives you great ways to teach songs, movement, music reading skills both online and in the classroom. YES, it takes time to prepare. But it will be worth every minute you spend. Assessments are included and suggestions for how to do in-person and remotely.
Not sure? Try the Unit 1, Lesson Plans 1-3 FREE!!
BREATHE! Above all, take care of yourself. This too, shall pass.
No matter where you are, what you have been through . . .you can do this.
Teachers are resilient.
Children are resilient.