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Lessons Learned from Virtual Teaching with Michael Singletary, Ep. 92 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Image of children using tablet with the words Lessons Learned from Virtual Teaching with Michael Singletary

Lots of great learning happened while schools were remote. Teachers learned new strategies. Coaches figured out creative solutions. 

We don’t want to forget the innovative teaching that happened because of technology. Instead, we need to take all the good stuff learned while virtual and apply it purposefully to the classroom. 

Michael Singletary from Principal Teacher Co. joins me on The Coaching Podcast to talk about the lessons learned from virtual teaching. We discuss what coaches can do to help teachers apply what they learned from remote teaching to the classroom. She shares her favorite online tools and different ways to use them for in-person learning.  

Lessons Learned from Virtual Teaching

Virtual learning changed the way we deliver instruction. We saw teachers become more comfortable with technology and use it in novel ways. 

I asked Michael to share some of the lessons learned from virtual teaching. She says that one of the biggest lessons was to start small and keep it simple. Her recommendation is to leverage the technology that teachers are already using and not to add too many new things at once. If you’re going to introduce something new, do it slowly and purposefully.

She says another thing this experience taught her was that most teachers were not comfortable teaching on video. It was just something they had to do. Now Michael sees her teachers using video more often, especially during small group work. They teach a small group while another independent group watches a lesson that was recorded earlier. 

During our chat, Michael explains why video is an excellent way for teachers to see themselves in action and reflect on their teaching skills. She says we can also record teachers and share the videos as examples of model classrooms for coaching sessions. This reduces the need for coverage which is hard to come by these days. 

Another positive thing that new technology has done is to make teachers more comfortable asking for tech assistance. Michael says that “it has made the entry point for coaching a lot easier”. If you start with something small like that, it can lead to other things. 

Schools had some computers and iPads before the pandemic, but they didn’t spend a lot of money on technology. This changed when schools invested in laptops for all students. Now teachers and students have access to more technology in schools than ever before.

The way technology is being used in classrooms has also changed a lot. Michael explains that in the past many online programs functioned as diagnostic tools. Now educators are more focused on product creation, rather than just generating a plan that requires students to spend a certain amount of time using a program.

I asked Michael if there was anything she was happy to leave behind from remote learning. She explained that technology can make teachers, students, and parents feel isolated. This is why she’s happy to leave 100% virtual for a hybrid approach. That way the people who need face-to-face contact have the option of getting it. 

Technology for Virtual and In-Person Teaching

Many tools used while teaching remotely can be used for in-person learning. During the episode, Michael and I discuss some of our favorite online teaching tools and what they can do. 

Here’s a list of the tools we talked about that can be used when transitioning from virtual to in-person learning. Listen to the entire episode to get ideas for how to use them on your campus.

1. Google Workspace (Formerly Google Suite) 

2. Google Classroom 

3. Google Forms 

4. Jamboard 

5. Reading A-Z 

6. Raz Plus 

7. Pear Deck  

8. Canva 

9. Adobe Spark 

10. Blooket

Coaching and Virtual Teaching

There are different ways instructional coaches can support teachers while they transition from virtual to in-person learning. Michael’s number one recommendation for coaches is to get inside the classrooms and model for them. Often questions come up as teachers watch you and this encourages discussions. 

She says teachers learn more from coaches who are willing to show instead of tell. If a teacher is struggling with a subject or tool, go in and help them. Apply a gradual release to allow the teacher to feel comfortable and learn from you.

This episode has lots of ideas for what coaches can do to support teachers right now as they get reacquainted with in-person learning. If you’re ready for more on this topic, listen to the whole episode and check out the resources below. 

Ready to listen? You can listen below with the media player, or search for Buzzing with MS. B: The Coaching Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!

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Email: principalteacherco@gmail.com
Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas?

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Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros

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