Union High teacher: Virtual teaching ‘toughest thing’ I’ve done
The battle rages on in New Jersey as to when schools should be open. One thing we do know is that no matter what, there will be some form of online learning.
This opens up a tremendous opportunity for teachers to unleash their creativity.
You could say teachers are entering their own MTV era, or would that be the TTV era? Before the advent of MTV in 1981, bands just concentrated on playing music, then they had to become on-screen entertainers and some of the greatest videos in music were made (and are still being made). As Bruce Springsteen once sang, "We learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school." Now if done right, teachers could be generating those "records" — actually videos.
Online learning may not make teachers rock stars, but it will force them to be more creative and entertaining, which will make the class much more interesting. Union High School teacher Nick Ferroni is constantly finding ways to creatively reach his students, such as calling the Declaration of Independence "The greatest breakup letter in human history" and pranking his class to prove his point in this video.
Nick called into my show on Thursday night to talk about virtual teaching:
"In my 17 years of teaching, as passionate as I am, virtual teaching was by far the toughest thing I've ever done in my entire life," Ferroni said when he called in. "Because it's a 24-hour-a-day job. You're a content creator and you're trying to make connections in a virtual platform, which is almost impossible."
He went on to say, "I didn't think teachers could work any harder, but it was the hardest work I've ever done."
There are those who will say that kids need to be in the classroom, To them, I ask how many of us remember what we learned watching Sesame Street when we were young? Do you still see that show or sketch clear in your mind? Not only do teachers have the opportunity to create great teaching videos, perhaps they could even be shared among other schools in the district or posted online.
Today is all about being entertained. If the student is going to truly learn online, the teachers are going to need to unleash their creativity and entertain, I mean teach them.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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