Sunday, March 29, 2020

Remote Learning By the Numbers You Can Do

W O W.

It's been a little more than 2 weeks since Governor DeWine ordered the closure of all schools in Ohio. I was sitting in the Curriculum Department when he made the announcement. I look back at that day & feel like it was surreal. I'll remember that day forever. We had been anticipating an announcement of some kind - but the swiftness was overwhelming. The next day was a pre-planned in-service day for my district and we pivoted from what we had planned on doing, to prepare for what it would mean to teach remotely.

Here I am, 2 weeks later. We used 2 calamity days and 8 days of remote learning. I can honestly say that nothing - and everything - in my teaching career has allowed me the strength to sit here and write this to you. I have no magical answers; I have no "right" answers; and I have no idea how much longer we will continue remote learning. But what I DO know is this:

  • I will not be broken by this.
  • I will be stronger because of this.
  • I will make mistakes and learn from them.
  • I will cry and dry my tears.
  • I will be upset - even angry. And then I will channel that anger into something productive.
  • I will see my colleagues create amazing digital lessons.
  • I will see students do some pretty cool things at home.
  • I will see my district leadership guide us through this time of uncertainty with grace and strength that even they didn't know they had.
  • I will see a change in education that will hopefully prove to be for the better. 
I know these things to be true even though all of this stems from something so unexpected, so strange, and so unwanted.

This week is spring break for me. And it's one more thing that will be pivoting. One more thing that will be changed. I had been looking forward to 5 days of being home while my family carried on with their normal lives. This was what I expected. Instead, I will work with my daughters on their schoolwork. I will be thankful my husband is still employed and has a job he is needed at. I will work on school "stuff" - even though I know I don't have to. I will also do some of the things I had planned previously ... and I'll get to that in a minute.

I have focused my writing on activities and lessons that you can take and do in your classroom. I don't share a lot about my personal life. But today I am going to open up a bit. I feel like I need to be more open. Contrary to what many might think, computers and technology aren't my whole life. I do unplug and I do have other hobbies. 

For one, running has been a major part of my life since college. I have completed several half-marathons and 5ks. I run 3 or 4 times a week. On the other days, I do a fast-walk or the Maxtrainer. I've also included planks to strengthen my core.

I journal daily. Not like the narrative type - I shared my journal style two weeks ago in "Uncertain Times You (& I) CAN Do." I have done this faithfully since late December. It has given me focus, routine, and a means to reflect. I am encouraging my daughters to do the same.

And I LOVE DIY. I love watching it and trying things on my own. I grew up watching "This Old House" and I still am a faithful viewer. While I do not have a huge repertoire of tools, I do own several and they come in handy quite often. And many assume my husband does the work, but he finds DIY frustrating and allows me to do it. He's MUCH better at the outside work. He loves taking care of our yard and plants and all of that. I have brown thumb. I couldn't identify more than a couple of flowers and 1 tree - my favorite, a Japanese maple. We balance each other well in this respect.

First completed floor
A handful of years ago, we ripped up the carpet and vinyl flooring on our first floor and replaced it with a click-together flooring. While we were mostly happy, we've realized it wasn't the best option for kids and dogs. We've sorely needed to replace carpet on our 2nd floor. Can you guess what I had planned for spring break? That is my big project. I am replacing all the carpet in our bedrooms, hallway, and closets. No small feat. It also allows me to work out some stress and frustration. We had the flooring picked out, so on weekends that might have been spent at soccer fields, I am spending it replacing the floors upstairs. So far, I'm proud to share I've completed 2 bedrooms, about half of the hall, and I'm heading into our youngest daughters bedroom today.

All of this leads me to the share I have for today. As I was working to figure out a cut around a doorway Thursday night, I started thinking about all the things I have/haven't done over these past two weeks. And with the "By the Numbers" template Ryan O'Donnell (@creativeedtech) shared a while ago as inspiration, I've created "Remote Learning By the Numbers ... So Far." 

Here is mine for the past two weeks. I am thinking I will update it again at some point. (Maybe while it's all over. Maybe after spring break. Maybe I won't.) It sure would be fun to see some others Remote Learning By the Numbers ... So Far. Please share yours! 

Would you like to use mine to make a copy for yourself? Feel free! Here is a link to my Google Drawing. You are welcome to make a copy & modify it to fit yourself.

If you have any questions or comments or if I can help, PLEASE reach out. Please comment below, reach out on the socials - linked to the above right.


  1. Thanks for sharing! I appreciate your honesty and realism -- your embracing of the uncertainty and sadness along with the celebrations.

    1. You are welcome! I hope we can use this time to find our own inner peace while assisting others. Stay safe & healthy!

  2. We're going to help our kids focus on that as well by starting with this TED Talk: So much is about perspective, right? Best wishes back to you and your family!

    1. Oh wow! THANK YOU for sharing this TED talk. "More than one right answer" ... perspective is very true. "A larger more balanced perspective ..." I love this! I'll be sure to share this one out, too! Sarah