We anticipated a difficult transition to distance learning, but it turns out to be much better than we imagined. In just two weeks the Tenney School has learned so much about the staff and students that make up this resilient institution and the challenges we are able to overcome. The obstacles that distance learning would create seemed to be bigger than the benefits, however that’s not the case for our school. We have discovered a new way of teaching our students that has allowed them to blossom in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. We call it the Tenney School Live!
“Techies” get their day:
A lot of our students love their electronic devices and have found that this type of learning allows for the use of a platform that is more comfortable to them. There are many different kinds of people and therefore students in the world, and our “techies” love this particular type of learning and information sharing. Being able to use their computer allows quieter students that may be overwhelmed in a classroom setting to participate more than usual.
Bonding over shared learning and struggles:
Students that aren’t quite as technologically inclined are also reaping the benefits of distance learning. Since we’re all in this together and learning new things can be tough, this experience has forced us to reach out to each other for help in ways we didn’t need to before. This new way of helping each other and learning together has created a bond amongst every member of the school that will not easily be broken, even after we return to regular schooling.
A Smooth Transition:
Our 1-to-1 classrooms are also ideal for this transition into online learning. We don’t have the same issues that large classrooms face with lots of questions and background noises during the video chats. The Tenney School morphed so easily into Tenney School Live! because of the way the school is already structured – we were more prepared for this change than we even knew.
Teachers like it, too!
Teachers are finding this experience to be surprisingly positive as well. Mrs. Ehlinger, English, says the students are “off and running. They are so organized and eager to learn that there has been no gap in the transition to Tenney Live.” Students get to teach as well, as one student helped Mrs. Ehlinger with “Share My Screen” on Microsoft Teams. Mrs. Stewart, Science, pointed out that “it has been a great opportunity for the students to use technology in a productive way, rather than just an entertainment way…They are going to need to understand how to use technology for work one day.” Mrs. Stewart has also found that this online platform is “beneficial in keeping the students organized” since she has all of the students’ assignments in one location on OneNote. This eliminates students losing assignments or having to run back to homeroom to get something the forgot.
Overall the experience of Tenney Live! has been a positive one. Even with a few bumps in the road, students were present and ready to learn along with their teachers. This experience has allowed us to learn how capable the Tenney School is of providing what our students need and how capable our students are of adapting and growing.