Editorial: Bravo, teachers, educators and schools!

Posted 4/2/20

Rhode Island’s rapid shift to distance learning is remarkable.

Teachers, principals, department heads and IT directors, all of them balancing their own personal turmoil and family anxiety, …

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Editorial: Bravo, teachers, educators and schools!

Posted

Rhode Island’s rapid shift to distance learning is remarkable.

Teachers, principals, department heads and IT directors, all of them balancing their own personal turmoil and family anxiety, spent their unexpected March “vacation” working from home, testing and learning new technology and inventing ways to teach children. Imagine taking everything you’ve learned throughout a 20-year career, and then reinventing yourself in a week.

Last Monday teachers went live and began teaching students from inside their own kitchens or bedrooms, many of them navigating throughout the house to find a place where they could focus without being distracted by their own children (also distance learning), spouse, dog or cat — all the while knowing that their audience includes highly distracted and anxious kids, as well as nosy parents who are suddenly part of the classroom.

Rhode Island’s educational community should be proud of what it has accomplished thus far. The commissioner of education set the tone early in this crisis, demanding that all schools develop a distance learning program and forcing them to adhere to a deadline. As a result, Rhode Island is setting one of the highest educational standards in the country, with others, including education standard-bearer Massachusetts, in disarray and scrambling to catch up.

Though there are ongoing technical glitches and nothing can replicate a good teacher in a dynamic classroom, the distance learning program is a tremendous success because it fills an enormous void in the lives of children and families. Children now have something to do, a “place” to go, and motivation to apply themselves academically and intellectually.

Bravo, to the teachers and educators who are reinventing our “schools” every day.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.