For almost a year now, schools, students, teachers and families have had to constantly adapt to changing circumstances, dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has impacted many aspects of our lives and the way we have had to approach our teaching and our learning at ASH and around the world.
Recently, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development Kili Lay participated in a conversation hosted by the International School of Luxembourg’s Virtual Learning Loft. ISL has been facilitating a series of conversations supporting the international school community around teaching, learning, and leadership for educators and parents. Ms. Lay participated as a panelist in a session called ‘Supporting Teaching and Learning During COVID-19’ for international school leaders around the world.
Ms. Lay shared with us her experience of the event and the insights gained from discussions with colleagues from around the world. These conversations focused on what resources and strategies educators need to employ to help students stay motivated and engaged in virtual learning. This included discussing how educators have approached professional development during this time - something we have had to adapt to and approach differently due to COVID-19 and virtual learning.
This session also addressed how schools are working with parents and families around concerns about children not receiving a “full education” where so many around the world have spent a majority of the year in virtual classrooms. The pandemic has also prompted many school leaders to reframe and reprioritize their institutions’ goals and initiatives, and so participants were invited to share how their schools have responded and how their strategic planning has been impacted.
Ms. Lay recounts that, “it was a great opportunity to hear from not only the panelists, but also other international school leaders as we discussed these questions in small, highly engaging breakout groups. Big ideas were around how our school values serve as an important means to help each of us let go of practices we hold on to but that don't necessarily provide the kind of impact we hope to see in our learners; the importance of trust and frequent check-ins to take care of each other; and that things we've known for a long time still serve us well as we navigate unchartered territory, things like the importance of discourse, structure and autonomy when it comes to learning, things like emphasizing the critical areas of our curriculum in order to pare down, and focusing on connections over curriculum.”
As a member of the international school community, ASH actively participates in these global conversations that bring our learning together and help us tackle complex questions as a community. This has been ever more relevant at this dynamic moment in our world’s history.