Teachers Helping Teachers: Visit a Virtual ABE Classroom

Teachers Helping Teachers: Visit a Virtual ABE Classroom

What we (my students and I) are learning now will make our class stronger in the future. Necessity has pushed us into an educational space we should have already been operating in. – Lindsey Cermak

If you caught the webinar Teaching in Real Time: Maximizing Instructional Time Online, you heard that Minnesota teachers are doing a tremendous job of making online classes happen for their learners. Now you can see them in action!

ATLAS has created a Virtual Observation List of ABE teachers who are willing to open up their classes to observers. Many teachers learn valuable lessons from observing other teachers; the current stay-at-home order opens the door for us to get a glimpse into each other’s classes and apply lessons and strategies to our own online instruction.

I think of my class as being “a la carte.” Where there are a variety of items in the “educational menu,” if you will, and students are welcome to partake of as much or as little as they can, based on their own situations and how much time they can put into class. – Jessica Jones, Literacy Minnesota

The most important this is that we are continuing to be a learning community, and we’re and making sure that all learners get a chance to be heard. – Kylie Kunkel, Moorhead ABE

I try to be consistent with using technologies and instructional strategies that students were already familiar with prior to the closure; that’s really helped to ease the transition to online. – Andy Albee, Robbinsdale ABE

Lessons I’ve learned from teaching online:

  • I can do this.
  • My students can do this.
  • Flexibility is a must.
  • I need to empower and not coddle my students. 
  • Students need better access to internet and computers…this inequity needs to be addressed.

– Lindsey Cermak, Literacy Minnesota

On the Virtual Observation List you’ll find information for online classes that you can join as a non-participatory observer. Select a class based on what you’re interested in observing: you can choose by level (beginning ESL to GED) by day and time, by instructional focus (ESL, math, conversation, etc.), or by class platform (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.). Email the teacher to set up an observation day and time, and the teacher will email you the link to join their class on that date. Please be sure to carefully read and follow the Guidelines for Joining an Online Class before you get started.

Are you or any teachers that you know leading online synchronous classes? If you or a colleague would be comfortable being observed, please email Andrea Echelberger at [email protected] to be added to the observation list. Watching you do hard things can inspire others to do the same!

If you missed the “Teaching in Real Time: Maximizing Instructional Time Online” webinar on May 7th which featured panelists Andy Albee, Jessica Jones, Kylie Kunkel, and Lindsey Cermak, you can watch the recording. Check out the slides from the webinar at https://tinyurl.com/May7teaching.

Andrea Echelberger, ESL Training Coordinator Literacy Minnesota