Lessons Learned for Creating a Better Future


This week at #gtchat, we asked participants to consider what they would have done differently when schools closed due to the Pandemic and how has this informed their approach to future teaching methods. Many knew for several weeks of the possibility of schools closing. Having an exit-strategy – even a simple – would have been beneficial. The future is more unpredictable than ever. Contingency plans need to be in place in the event schools are forced to close again.

What successful distance learning strategies were employed that will be continued post-COVID19? School districts that were already set up with one-to-one technology were better prepared to deploy distance learning strategies. Schools who were able to partner with Internet service providers and tech firms realized early success. Keeping tech as simple as possible was an important strategy. Allowing supplemental ways to connect students (shared Google docs, virtual classrooms, etc.) alleviated stress during class time. Some successful strategies included enhanced ‘morning meetings’ at all age-levels and employing one-on-one sessions with struggling students or advanced students who needed additional mentoring.

Too many schools were not cognizant of students’ home situations (SES, availability of caregivers, Internet access) and the influence this had on their ability to participate in distance learning. In recent years, services that were cut or curtailed due to budgetary constraints such as counselors, social workers, or aides had an impact on how to respond to students’ mental health in a time of crisis. The unprecedented trauma (such as loss & grief, economic instability families are facing, and social unrest due to inequality) resulting from a global pandemic cannot be underestimated.

The timing of closures – near the end of the school year here in the U.S. – meant that relationships had long been formed. Separation anxiety became a real issue. It revealed the need to recognize the importance of these relationships. Many will view how they do anything in the future through the lens of ‘pre-Covid’ and ‘post-Covid’ times. There was a realization that flexibility is key to future successes. The importance of SEL in education was thrust into prominence after the onset of coronavirus.

Schools with the foresight to begin early to plan what re-opening schools would encompass sought out parents’ opinions and suggestions. Some schools, unfortunately, did not seek or value parental input to the detriment of successful school reopenings. Parents’ insights could be helpful in preparing for student in-person attendance; many parents are not willing to send their children to school during a pandemic.

No return to normalcy can be expected in the near future. The duration of the Pandemic will force policy-makers to rethink remote learning, length of school year, extra-curricular activities, and school funding. Creation of rapid-response protocols to #COVID19 outbreaks will be necessary. Successful schools will be those who are able to envision opportunities that can be possible in how we respond to the Pandemic by making education responsive to the individual needs of students.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com


Returning to School from a Classroom Teacher’s POV

Distance Learning FAQ: Solving Teachers’ and Students’ Common Problems | Edutopia

Take this Pandemic Moment to Improve Education | EdSource

Lessons Learned During the Pandemic | Edutopia

LESSONS LEARNED | Teaching through a Pandemic

In a Time of Crisis, What Can We Learn About Learning Time? | ASCD

Projecting the Potential Impacts of COVID-19 School Closures on Academic Achievement | Annenberg Brown University

Texas Districts Were Rolling Out Big Pre-K Expansion Plans When COVID-19 Hit. Will That Momentum Be Enough to Save Them?

L.A. District & Snapchat Created a Celebrity Book Club for Students. More Online Engagement Is in the Works

How Keeping a Pandemic Journal Builds Students’ Historical Thinking Skills and Helps Them Cope | MindShift

Leading Through Unprecedented Times (podcast)

Five Norms and Five Rubrics for High-Quality Online Learning

9 Ways Online Teaching Should be Different from Face-to-Face

Education during a Pandemic: Lessons to be Learned

LESSONS LEARNED | What will the Upcoming School Year Look Like?

Mexico: Lessons from COVID-19 in the Education Sector

Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic | ResearchGate

Hawaii: Learning Curve; Lessons from Pandemic Help Shape DOE Guidelines for 2020-21 School Year

Cybraryman’s The New Normal Page

Cybraryman’s SEL Page



Pear Deck





Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.


Posted on July 30, 2020, in Acceleration, Education, gifted education, Mental Health, Online Education, Social Emotional, Teaching, Technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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