Distance Learning: What it’s Teaching Us
Distance learning was an unexpected change to the routine and instruction model for many schools around the world last week, including ours. Thanks to the hard work and tenacity of teachers, administrators, and parents, PCA began the temporary shift to distance learning almost two weeks ago, and we’ve learned a lot already! In addition to the academic learning of our students in these last two weeks, here are five important things we’re learning:
1. Our teachers are learners, too!
We’re proud of our teachers for their willing response to the call to temporarily shift learning to a digital platform in a matter of days. It’s been a season of “firsts” for many teachers at PCA, and a learning experience for everybody, including learning how to record classes, use Teams, lead young learners in digital citizenry, administer tests online, accept homework remotely, deliver full-class and one-on-one instruction, and so much more. PCA teachers have shown leadership, adaptability, courage, and commitment during these two weeks, and we are impressed and blessed by them. Thank you, PCA teachers, for your commitment to inspiring students!
2. Our students are ready for a challenge!
We’ve always known that PCA students are special, but in these past two weeks we’ve seen the light of our students shine! They, too, have had to learn how to be online learners. In addition to moving to remote academics, our students showed that they’re always up for a new challenge. During our first week of distance learning, Dr. Abood challenged students to find ways to impact the world for good. The student response was overwhelming! In addition, teachers and parents have reported many positive ways in which our students have been using technology to maintain community and encourage one another – from sending virtual birthday wishes to writing notes to one another. We’re proud of our students for continuing to emphasize this year’s theme of Compassionate Community! Thank you, students, for loving each other well!
3. Our families are creative!
In the last two weeks, parents have been asked to adapt to a new routine and, frankly, a lot of time at home with children and each other! In addition to being incredibly flexible to the changes that this situation has demanded, PCA parents have stepped up to the plate by coming up with creative, fun, and sometimes goofy ways of passing the time. From parents who have added Home Economics to the at-home curriculum to those who do at-home yoga with the kiddos in the morning, we’ve been impressed and inspired by the creativity of PCA parents! Thank you, parents, for adapting with us!
4. Our community is generous!
These challenging times have shed light on several needs in our community, from face masks and medical supplies in our global community to the need right here at home for technological resources to make distance learning at PCA possible. The PCA community has responded to these needs, and others, with generosity and grace. This week we heard of several members of the PCA community (including students, parents, and even administrators!) who have learned to sew face masks for the medical community. Overwhelmed by the support of families who wanted to help meet the technological need in our community, we’re in the process of launching the PCA Tech Exchange, which will serve as a place where we can crowd-source tech support and resources. Thank you, PCA community, for your generosity and willingness to serve.
5. Our God is faithful!
In times of uncertainty, God proves He is faithful. Like the words of an old hymn remind us,
“…Morning by morning, new mercies I see
And all I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me…”
These past two weeks have presented the PCA community, and the world, with extraordinary challenges. Behind the generosity, creativity, love, and commitment we’ve seen from members of our community in the past two weeks, we know there have been moments of challenge, stress, and frustration. Nevertheless, the Lord has been faithful to provide.
As we embark on another week of distance learning on Monday, please join us in praying for the PCA community and the world. We’re praying that God will continue to strengthen PCA teachers, students, families, and the community in a new week. We’re praying that God will show himself faithful to those who are struggling due to illness, financial uncertainty, or other factors. We’re praying that our community will continue to support and encourage one another through these unprecedented times.
Want to stay up-to-date with what is happening in the PCA community? The PCA Community Facebook Group is a hub for PCA families to share, encourage, and ask questions. PCA families are welcome to join!