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Supervisors: What Not to Do to Teachers New to #RemoteLearning

Cartoon of boss holding magnifying glass in front of employee's face.

(Image credit: Lisa Nielsen)

Schools across the globe are moving to remote learning during these unprecedented times in our world's history. Innovative educators are jumping on board, embracing the challenge, and even enthusiastic about discovering some new and better ways of supporting learners.

This is the best possible outcome in trying times. However, more and more teachers are sharing that as they are trying to move forward, their supervisors have taken this as a cue to monitor and micromanage. This makes for a very nerve-racking and stressful situation for teachers who are already overburdened.  

Below is a list of what educators don't want supervisors to do as they transition into a new way of supporting learners. 

Remote Learning "Don't" List for Supervisors

  • Don't ask to be added to everything
    Teachers don't want you watching and commenting on their every move while their learning something new.
  • Don't do their work
    There are environments where supervisors can see what teachers are doing with students. In these cases, supervisors should not chime in, in the space of teacher and student and start doing the teacher's job. It's just awkward and  undermines the teachers work and authority.
  • Don't focus on monitoring
    Many teachers share their supervisor's biggest concern is monitoring them and that is uncomfortable. The role of the supervisor in these times is to be as supportive as possible.
  • Don't mandate tools, practices, and processes
    Suggest, support, and offer, but don't mandate how a teacher does their job. This is a time for learning and innovation. There may be tools that they feel will help them better support learners. Let them use those tools as they move into a new way of teaching.
  • Don't treat remote learning like face-to-face learning
    Some supervisors are expecting staff to be on the same exact attendance and bell schedule. No! Just, no. 

cross posted at The Innovative Educator 

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several booksand her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times,The Wall Street Journal, Tech&Learning, and T.H.E. Journal.