The students and educators who make up our vibrant SRL community were going through so much, and we’re grateful to everyone who shared their experiences with us.
“I am struggling to have my students work through the large scale assignments and get it done right … We have had a lot of issues with lack of equipment at home for my students and generally their overall time management is a struggle at home,” wrote in one teacher, who suggested rolling deadlines with smaller, regular check-ins.
“Our school is about to change schedules for the fourth time this semester,” shared another. “I have *so* appreciated the supportive ‘always there’ presence of [my Youth Media Producer] and the flexibility/understanding of our circumstances.”
New priorities emerged from text messages with students, teacher Zoom listening sessions, and the stark realities of working from home. Because SRL is not beholden to commercial interests, we could be nimble and because we are public media, we had to be scrappy. So we experimented with mobile production and formats, checked in more frequently and less formally, and tried to meet students and teachers where they were, physically and emotionally.
Now looking ahead, one of the key topics in my sights for 2021: education. The statistics about students failing and dropping out are staggering and raise critical questions about what school is for and how students learn. SRL’s “School Diaries” curriculum is collecting hundreds of stories of struggle and endurance. NewsHour Extra’s extraordinary series of Zoom conversations with educators and support staff is creating a unique community that will help shed light on what schools are up against. And my own household continues to give me tiny glimpses of how different personalities experience remote learning: our organized middle schooler thrives in the calm and control, while our son struggles with motivation, connection to teachers and an overwhelming sense of “what does this really matter?”