The Year The Classroom Norms Died

Person in front of the computer, barefoot, in pajamas, with a coffee mug and bowl with a spoon
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  • What does it mean to be “at” school when “school” is happening online?
  • What should one wear for a Zoom meeting?
  • What is “on time” when you are turning things in on Google Classroom?
  • What are appropriate ways to engage with classmates you have never met and who you can only see as a thumbnail — or black box — on a tiny screen?
  • What are appropriate times and ways to engage with teachers when you are communicating with them via Zoom, email, text, and phone calls?
  • What does “school” mean anyway? And why is it important?
  • What are the most important topics for students to learn in a year when covering everything was often impossible?
  • How do you provide consistency when you have to keep “pivoting” between different forms of instruction?
  • How do you provide consistency and engage everyone when you have to teach in two or three formats at once? For example in “hybrid” formats such as in-person and online, or classes that are simultaneously synchronous and asynchronous, how do we equitably engage and support all students? How can all students equitably be accountable for their learning?
  • What is reasonable to expect during a national health crisis? Our our students? Of ourselves? What kinds of support are reasonable to expect of our administrators and school staff?
  • How do we enforce expectations and behavioral norms when the students are at home?
  • How do we have delicate conversations about students or parents who are dressed inappropriately or doing inappropriate things? What does “appropriate” even mean when we are zooming into people’s living rooms?
  • How (or should) we ssign homework when the students are already working at home?
  • How important are due dates? What do we do with the student who hasn’t turned anything in? How much additional time is reasonable to allow?



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Writing on the Wall

Writing on the Wall

Suzie Null is a former middle and high school teacher and current professor of Teacher Education. Follow her on Twitter at WritingontheWall @NullSet16