Advice for Managing the Hybrid Classroom in K-12 with Zest

Click above to listen to this podcast episode. Below is the transcript for Student-Centered World Podcast Episode 21: “Transitioning from the Distance/Hybrid Classroom with Val Shindo-Uehira and Sarah Iverson

Hey everyone, I hope you are doing well. Welcome to another episode of the Student-Centered World podcast. Today, let’s take a look at transitioning to the hybrid classroom. Today’s episode brought me so much joy when I was recording, often I will have conversations with those who are members of A Passion for Progress: Becoming a 100%, Student-Centered Educator about whatever’s on their mind and might be an issue they’re having in the classroom, it might be, you know, trying to figure out a lesson plan, or sometimes it’s just about life.

But at the current time, all of my students were doing pretty awesome in the classroom and nobody was really having any concerns or needed me for anything.

So, I reached out to my email subscribers, and I said, “I normally do this for my students, but I’m curious if anybody would like to chat”, and Val from Hawaii (so, first off, I was immediately jealous, because Hawaii is my favorite place on the planet) reached out and said she would love to chat. Val teaches Middle School, and has for the past 17 years.

She is a science teacher and our conversation went into how their school district was preparing to open back up and the plans that they had in place for a hybrid classroom and the committee’s that they had together, and it was so utterly impressive what they were able to come up with and the challenges that they are facing and how they were overcoming them.

I really think anybody who is either struggling with a reopening plan, or is getting ready to reopen, or maybe you have reopened, but it isn’t really going as well as it could be, or you’re struggling with a hybrid classroom….you can get so much out of this episode. To boot in the middle of our conversation, one of her colleagues, Sarah came in who was an instructional assistant who used to be a science teacher. So, the three of us just sort of had a great conversation about what they’re doing for the kids, what they’re doing for the teachers, and how they are planning to move forward with all of this.

Now, as a disclaimer, you know, me and if you’ve watched my live videos in our Facebook group or anything, you know that I am a big promoter of rolling with it when tech doesn’t work perfectly because of course, that’s life. I don’t ever want to look totally polished all the time, because that’s not accurate and I don’t want you to think that that is the way that things have to be.

And of course, the recording for the first couple of minutes of this didn’t save, because life, 2020 I don’t know what you want to say. So, the very beginning of this was just a little bit of Val introducing herself telling us about where she’s from.

One of the first questions that I had asked her is what she is struggling with the most right now in terms of the hybrid classroom. She had said that she knows her students’ abilities and she knows where they are educationally. But if she were to see them on the street, she wouldn’t know who they are. That was something that she was struggling with the most. But again, with the reopening coming, she was trying to figure out how to adapt all of that. So, I hope you get a lot out of today’s podcast and enjoy it.

Welcome to the Student-Centered World podcast where we talk about all things hands-on teaching and keeping your energy and sanity in the classroom. This teacher turned consultant is making it her mission to help as many teachers as possible become the best version of themselves and keep their passion for teaching on fire. It’s her hope that we never forget why we desire to have a passion for educational progress. This is Student-Centered World, and this is Jenn Breisacher.

Val Shindo-Uehira: So, there will be about 50 kids on campus because we’re taking 100 kids, and we’re splitting them and we’re seeing Okay, 50 kids on these days and 50 kids on these other two days.

Jenn Breisacher: Okay.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah.

Jenn Breisacher: So, it’s like a hybrid classroom A/B-type schedule.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah. A/B schedule. So, we run Tuesday through Thursday. Mondays, we’re on campus with office hours for the entire day. So, the kids just pop in and out, depending on whether they need help with a particular assignment. Then the work is just given up asynchronously on Mondays. Tuesdays through Fridays we actually teach

Jenn Breisacher: Okay.

Val Shindo-Uehira: We have classes that we’re actually teaching and so we will have the kids come back and they will initially start in learning labs. They’ll be housed in one area with a few teachers and these are the non-classroom teachers that will be supervising, and they will be let out at 1:50 I believe it is okay to go to individual teachers for help. So, during our normal office hours, they would come to us in person.

Jenn Breisacher: That’s actually a really great setup for getting back in the hybrid classroom.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah, so it’s kind of slowly not just easing the kids back, but easing the teachers back because I think there’s a lot of apprehension about having warm bodies in the classroom because of this whole health safety thing.

Jenn Breisacher: Sure.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah. Then a few weeks after that, what they’re going to want to do, they’re going to want those kids to start rotating in and out of at least one class. And then a few weeks after that, they want the kids to start rotating out of all six classes.

Jenn Breisacher: Okay.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah. Then come January, which is our second semester, they’re going to start bringing the entire student body back in groups. So, we’re starting small.

Jenn Breisacher: No, that’s good though. I’m excited to hear that your school is doing it right. Doing things gradually and making sure that things are being done appropriately, as opposed to just some that are just like, “It’s fine. It’s fine.”

Val Shindo-Uehira: Administration is great. I mean, my principal is awesome.

Jenn Breisacher: That’s fantastic.

Val Shindo-Uehira: When the state initially started talking about lockdowns about shutting down the state. He was actually very forward-thinking, and he already was starting to put this plan in place, and he ordered all these hotspots, and you ordered all these PPE stuff for the staff and for the kids and he did this way ahead of everybody else. So, when we were getting our stuff in, people were scrambling like where are we going to get it from? Oh, my God, it’s not coming in.

Yeah. So, we have over 1000 laptops loaned out, along with hotspots, not 1000 hotspots…

Jenn Breisacher: Right, right, right.

Val Shindo-Uehira: …but we have enough hotspots where all of our student population is connected. So, we don’t have any kids who do not have access to technology right now.

Jenn Breisacher: That is fantastic.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yes, and you know, for us, that’s amazing, because we also serve as a homeless shelter back here. So, yeah, he’s been really great. I mean, very forward-thinking. It was funny because I tease him because I think like, wow, is he psychic or something? Because he says, I really think that the state’s going to shut down within the next couple of weeks and sure enough the state shuts down. Oh, we might be reopening in another week or two. Sure enough, the state reopens again. So, I’ve been like, wow.

Jenn Breisacher: He’s got insider info somehow.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Exactly.

Jenn Breisacher: That’s awesome. Well, that’s certainly I think one of the biggest hurdles that a lot of people are trying to manage is not having that support. Some places are just are terrible. So that’s certainly something that you have going in your favor right now that you had the backing that you need to be able to do a hybrid classroom well. I mean, we have a committee on campus that is strictly for the reopening of the school.

So, they meet every so often and then they discuss protocols and, and all these things. So, it’s really great. I mean, they’ve gotten face shields for all the kids. The school’s purchase this now. So, a face shield for each kid. They’ve got disposable face masks. So, if the kid comes to school without a face mask, we can give them one for that day. So, when they’re in the classroom, they are required to wear both the face shield and the face mask.

Jenn Breisacher: Okay.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah, teachers are required to wear face masks, but it’s optional if you want to wear the actual face shield too.

Jenn Breisacher: Got you.

Val Shindo-Uehira: And then our classrooms are air-conditioned. They’re allowing us to leave our doors and windows open…

Jenn Breisacher: That is good.

Val Shindo-Uehira: …and to leave the air conditioning running just to get that circulation when the kids are in the class.

Jenn Breisacher: Yeah, that’s really smart. That’s really smart. So, it sounds like your biggest concern you said has been that you haven’t been able to really see the kids, which is very understandable. But they’re coming back with the hybrid classroom. So, are you…I’m trying to figure out how to word this.

Are you nervous because you have an idea of who they’re going to be or you know, are you just going to sort of taking it as they come at you? Will you have the same kids that you’re teaching now. What is that going to look like?

Val Shindo-Uehira: As far as the kids coming we’re not really sure. There was another, what is that a survey? I guess sent out to the parents and there will be one more before we actually bring the kids back in A and B groups. Asking whether you want to continue with that or do you want the kids to come back face to face?

So, depending on the numbers that stay out, they’re either going to have a collapse of a period so that we would teach in person certain periods and one period would be dedicated strictly for distance learning. So, we’d still be doing the teaching…

Jenn Breisacher: Okay.

Val Shindo-Uehira: And then the teams would observe all of the kids who are distance learning and then the physical, the kids coming back on campus, they would have to farm out those kids to the rest of the teams of hybrid classrooms.

Val Shindo-Uehira: I’ll introduce you. This is Sarah Iverson.

Jenn Breisacher: Hi Sarah.

Sarah Iverson: Hi there. How are you?

Val Shindo-Uehira: She’s one of the instructional coaches here. She used to be the DH for science. And now she’s an instructional coach so she’s been a really great, huge support with the hybrid classroom.

Jenn Breisacher: I am sure, yes, that’s probably one of the biggest jobs right now.

Val Shindo-Uehira: So, a lot of times, if teachers will call in sick and they cannot teach virtually, she might be one to jump in to do the substitute teaching.

Jenn Breisacher: Okay. Got you.

Val Shindo-Uehira: They’re working with the substitute teachers to actually train them to do this online with the kids.

Jenn Breisacher: Smart. That’s really smart.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah, so we’ve been working for the last month or two…

Sarah Iverson: Yeah.

Val Shindo-Uehira: … to get these substitutes, train them on board. So, they have these Google Meets 101 classes.

Jenn Breisacher: Yeah. Sounds awesome.

Val Shindo-Uehira: And then

Sarah Iverson: it’s actually good because we had them come in and we watch them and then we discuss.

Jenn Breisacher: That’s fantastic. I was just saying, it sounds like your school just really has a handle on how to do this properly. There are so many schools that they’re slapping it together, or they’re just trying to make things normal and it’s a mess.

So, it’s nice to know that you guys are taking the time and you’re spending the money where it needs to be spent and doing all that to make sure it’s a good experience for the students and for the teachers and even the substitutes. It’s a good thing you guys have going for sure.

When the kids do come back in for the hybrid classroom? Are you going to have it where, I’m just making sure I understand like you’re teaching some kids at home at the same time, on the screen at the same time, or are they just going to have their own assignments to do if they’re still home or you have others in the classroom? What’s that looking like?

Val Shindo-Uehira: I don’t think we’re going to be teaching online in person.

Jenn Breisacher: Okay.

Val Shindo-Uehira: So, it will be strictly just in person or online in our hybrid classroom model.

Jenn Breisacher: Okay.

Val Shindo-Uehira: So, they’re actual periods to teach online, or it’s collapsing teams. So, the whole team teaches that group of distance learning kids, and the rest of the school will be teaching in person.

Jenn Breisacher: Got you. So, there will be no teaching the kids in the classroom and outside of the classroom at the same time. Good.

Val Shindo-Uehira: It’s ridiculously hard to do that.

Jenn Breisacher: It is.

Val Shindo-Uehira: with even one child sitting in here. It’s like it’s craziness because then you sacrifice 30 kids online to help one kid who was in the classroom.

hybrid classroom

Jenn Breisacher: Right. There are ways that some schools have been doing it well. They’ve been using a lot of group work with it. So, they’re creating groups, but there are some kids that are at home, and some kids that are in the classroom and they’re all virtually on the group together.

So, even if they are in the classroom, they might be in the same group but everybody’s on a computer, so they don’t have to be near one another to work together. Then they’re doing digital simulations or escape rooms, or whatever, and they’re able to work together.

It’s good for the kids that are at home, too, because they’re still interacting with their peers even though that they’re not there. So, even when you guys are trying to think about collapsing, and all that, that might be something to consider like bigger projects or that type of thing for the kids.

That’s one thing that I’ve heard a lot is the kids that are at home, when some kids are in school, it’s just it’s harder for them to feel like they still belong, that they’re not just going through the motions. So, there is that unity amongst their peers still.

Sarah Iverson: We are bringing back about 100 hybrid classroom kids starting next week but they’re going to be put into learning labs

Jenn Breisacher: What does that look like for you guys?

Sarah Iverson: So, we’ve got sixth and seventh grade together and then eighth grade in a separate lab. Then we’ll have two to four teachers who are currently non-classroom teachers monitoring the lab. So, the kids need to bring their computers and their ear earbuds if they have them. Then essentially, the premise behind it is to give them that quiet space to work.

Jenn Breisacher: Got you.

Sarah Iverson: Because I think a lot of these kids don’t have it at home.

Jenn Breisacher: Right.

Sarah Iverson: And so, they’re not engaged in the hybrid classroom virtual lessons. So, our thought process is that they’re not engaged because they’re either distracted at home, or they’re not quite sure what to do. So, we’re hoping that by having these adults in the room to be like, don’t forget you’ve got to check here, whatever it’s going to be they’ll be successful.

Jenn Breisacher: Got you. I was trying to figure out what that meant if it meant that they were just learning in small groups. So, they’re basically taking the digital work, but they’re able to do it at school. That’s fantastic. That’s a really great idea.

Val Shindo-Uehira: She is going to one of the…

Sarah Iverson: We all have shifts to sign up for so.

Jenn Breisacher: Got you. Then is there social distancing in those areas or is it kind of set it once you’re…?

Sarah Iverson: We set it up so there are 70 spots available in the class, but we’re only going to have 30 to 40 in there, and then we’re going to run this for two weeks and then the hope is the third week of it, we can start sending some of the kids back to their classes where they would still sit in the room and connect digitally, but they’re just going to be physically in the room and then this can also let us know what’s the movement going to look like when kids start coming back?

Jenn Breisacher: Right.

Sarah Iverson: Do we need to adjust so that this grade level releases at this time and do staggered releases or are we going to come up with issues once the kids move around.?

Jenn Breisacher:  I know, in my kids’ school, they put markers all over every hallway that are six feet apart, so they know how far they need to be in all angles. They say that’s been very helpful.

Sarah Iverson: Teachers alike, because you get involved and you’re not paying attention, even though you should be and it’s good to have that visual of where everybody needs to be. So, that’s certainly been helpful. So, we’re going to see. I think part of it, the main concern of having it is kids aren’t successful at home. We’re hoping that at least bringing them on campus will get them back to the mindset.

You got to do this, and hopefully, give them the right spot, and then hopefully, it’ll allow us to test our protocols and ensure that if we do open back up in January, are we really, truly ready to go.

Jenn Breisacher: Right. And is there a plan B, if you’re not, or are we just hoping on a wish and a prayer?

Sarah Iverson: I mean, I’m sure that we’ll probably make a plan B, C, D, E, and all the letters. Just for right now, we’re testing it out. We also have the kids coming from 9:45 to 2:30. So, we’re also aware that we might need to open the kids up to coming on campus at 8:15 because that 8:15 to 9:45 block is for the kids to work.

Jenn Breisacher: Okay.

Sarah Iverson: But they’re not.

Jenn Breisacher: Fair.

Sarah Iverson: So, it’s like, we’re hoping that this resolves some of the hybrid classroom issues but we’re also aware that we may have to have them on campus from 8:15 to 2:30 basically. I know, it says office hours, but that means you should be working.

Jenn Breisacher: Right. Right. A lot of kids, their parents are trying to navigate it to so they might not even realize what that means to be telling their children, okay, now you need or, the kids are saying, oh, no, it’s fine it’s just office hours. There are so many conversations going on in every single home that’s completely different from the next home. One of the harder things right now is kind of everybody’s interpretation of what it should look like.

It’s different and I know that’s where a lot of teachers are struggling too because, in their mind, they’re saying, okay, the kids are going to be doing X, Y, and Z for the hybrid classroom but the translation is not getting out there the way they’re envisioning in it and then they’re either getting different results than they wanted, or they’re getting no results, or the kids have just walked away completely. It’s definitely all about communication. So, have you guys been very open communicating to the families like that this is your plan to or you guys just trying to figure it out and then you’re going to release that?

Sarah Iverson: No, the kids who are returning have already received letters from administration and then they’re getting phone calls, and then I don’t know if the whole school is aware that students are being brought back.

Jenn Breisacher: Yeah.

Sarah Iverson: It’s more so the communication is with those individuals who are going to be part of the bring back to hybrid classrooms.

Jenn Breisacher: Got you. So, you guys reached out to the kids that you felt needed the most. Got it? Got it? Have they been fairly receptive to that or the families at least because we know the kids probably aren’t?

Val Shindo-Uehira: Actually, a lot of the kids want to come back to campus and when I ask my one student who comes to me on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, she said, oh, it’s so much easier just to be here in school.

Jenn Breisacher: Yeah.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Because at home, there are so many different distractions, that she just can’t focus. She has somebody right here that she can say, miss. I don’t understand this,  or I don’t know how to work this program. So, it’s a lot easier for her to be here than to be home and then mom works so she’s home with her siblings and it doesn’t always go as planned.

Jenn Breisacher: No, no mine are constantly fighting over who has what chord and like things that just don’t matter at that moment at all. Yeah, no, I understand completely.

Val Shindo-Uehira: You tell them, oh, just unmute yourself and they’re like, no, I can’t miss. It’s like, No, just unmute yourself and they’re like, no, you don’t understand and then they unmute themselves and it’s like chaos in the background. Yes, please mute yourself.

Jenn Breisacher: Right. Right. I’m, I’m interested to see. So, I worked at a school when I first started teaching that was built in the 70s with this concept of there were no walls, that every classroom was kind of just sort of divided off and it was whatever idea it was at the time. But every student that I taught said that when they got to college, they could study through anything because they were used to always having noise in the background.

So, I’m kind of wondering long-term if this could, I don’t want to say benefit because that’s not the word I’m looking for. But give them the skill of being able to concentrate a little bit better, even though they’re distracted. But just with the background. It’s not being as jarring for them.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Maybe, possibly. Our high school is actually set up that way.

Jenn Breisacher: Is it?

Val Shindo-Uehira: So, the middle school here, I mean, we’re all individual classrooms but once they get up to the high school, it’s an open area, and then they’re sectioned off only but partitions.

Sarah Iverson: Partitions. Yeah, floor to ceiling partitions. It’s like those whiteboard things.

Jenn Breisacher:  Yep. Yep.

Sarah Iverson: You can clearly hear what’s happening in the other room.

Val Shindo-Uehira: So long as it is being in one group, and then being sent out to individual pods a lot of times.

Jenn Breisacher: Well, that’s interesting

Val Shindo-Uehira: But you can definitely hear what’s going on everywhere. They have all the teachers in what the kids call the fishbowl in the middle. So, they’re in the open glass area so the kids can see them all the time. It’s interesting. I’m like, wow, I wonder if teachers knew they were going to be called the fishbowl?

Sarah Iverson: Probably not.

Jenn Breisacher: It’s definitely interesting. There are so many people that go right to the negative. This is going to be so detrimental for all of our students, they’re all going to be so many years behind in their schoolwork, which, first off, kids are resilient. They’re going to figure it out. But I kind of wonder what other hidden benefits might there be to a hybrid classroom that we don’t see right now because we’re just seeing as it’s chaos, and it’s hard and all that kind of thing.

There might be things like this. It is easier for them to tune out the noise because now they’re used to studying with siblings running around and stuff? Who knows?

Val Shindo-Uehira: It depends on what the teacher pushes too. I think the organization of the hybrid classroom definitely will be a skill that comes out of this.

Jenn Breisacher: Yes.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Because if you’re not organized, then you can’t keep track of everything going on. You’re definitely not going to be successful. So, being able to actually teach them that skill and say, hey. So, our kids have to do a morning check-in before they come to the hybrid classroom advisory class.

So, there are three things that we tell them to do check your email, check your Infinite Campus for your grades because you should always know what you’re at, and then check your Google Classroom to see if you have anything due today or in the next few days.

So, they check that every day before they come to us in the hybrid classroom. It’s just making that a habit for them. So,  if you can grow that habit, I think, eventually, even not just in middle school, but high school, in college, and beyond. Being able to set that kind of schedule for yourself every morning, check your email, check your Google, check whatever you need to check before your day starts. So, you know, what’s going to happen before it happens.  So, teaching them to be more proactive than reactive.

Jenn Breisacher: Yes, yeah. I think that’s such a soft skill that the kids are lacking these days. So, I mean, I’ve been saying over and over again, that I think that this whole pandemic as awful as it has been really had sort of thrust education forward. As much as so many people are saying, No, no, it’s keeping us back and everything. I think it really has propelled us into, we are a tech world, whether we like it or not.

These kids need to be prepared for that How do I put this, we’ve coddled them a little bit in the past several years, not making sure that they know what their grades are and what their homework is. Now they don’t have a choice, because here it is, and we’re on a screen now or I’m not going to see you for another three days or whatever the case may be. So, I think it’s helpful in a lot of ways.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Then also teaching them to see if you got D’s and F’s, but if you’re filling out your form, you’re telling me that you don’t have missing work or you don’t have anything to correct. How can that be that you’re getting an F if none of that exists? Being able to teach them the connection between getting all this done and making those corrections and seeing your teachers and getting those grades, those better grades.

Yes. So, it’s a lot of teaching them, what is that? Self-advocacy too? Hey, you know what, I don’t understand this. I guess I need to go to office hours which is what we’re trying to get the kids to do right now.

Jenn Breisacher: Yeah, I mean…

Val Shindo-Uehira: We don’t force them to do it but whether they go on their own.

Jenn Breisacher: But your students are at a perfect age to be learning that. I was talking to a third-grade teacher the other night, too and she was like, this isn’t something we would have ever been teaching them before. But now they’re all learning how to email their teacher if they have a question and it’s just it’s skills that they’re going to need in the world that they’re going into. So, the younger you can start them the better.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah.

Sarah Iverson: I also wonder, too, if we change the title of office hours to like, homework support if more would show up because of that idea of what is office hours. I mean, I remember when I went to college, I was like, what is that? That’s the weirdest thing. I have to go to your office.

Jenn Breisacher: Office hours. You are obviously there doing clerical work. I won’t want to bother you.

Sarah Iverson: So, it wasn’t until went to one that I was like, oh. So, basically, you’re here to help us? I’m seeing kids probably have no idea what office hours mean.

Jenn Breisacher: Yeah.

What Are Some Student-Centered Teaching Strategies

Sarah Iverson: Even had a parent come to the school and asked. So, am I supposed to bring my child here for office hours? Just the whole notion of it was just what?

Jenn Breisacher: Right, and I think that’s been one of the bigger hang-ups, I guess you can say right now is that we get what we’re talking about and we understand the directions that we’re giving and the terminology that we’re using, but the kids might not, and if they might not their parents certainly don’t.

So, that’s one thing I’ve been pushing to teachers over and over again, is make it as easy as possible that they understand what you’re talking about. I was chatting with one teacher and she said that this girl was really struggling to turn in work and she finally had a one on one Zoom call and they were doing online journals.

She just didn’t know how to paste her stuff into it and was too shy to ask because she knew that she had already been taught how to do it, and didn’t want to ask again for fear that she was going to get yelled at or whatever. So, she just wasn’t. The teacher was like, you know, what, why don’t I just go in and I can paste it for you. It’ll take me two minutes and that way; you’ll have everything ready. All of a sudden, it was a big turnaround.

So, it’s like you have to have those little conversations and stuff but sometimes we think that what we’re saying is getting, and that’s just teaching. Sometimes we think what we’re saying or doing is getting across, but it isn’t. So, it’s important to look at it in a bunch of different ways to find out what’s going to work. If it’s changing it to homework help time so be it.

Sarah Iverson: That’s why I’m just wondering, would more show up if that’s what we called it?

Jenn Breisacher: Yeah. I mean, you could always do a grand reopening. I don’t know what you would call it, but like, hey, now instead of office hours, we’re having homework time and you can call in. You can make a hokey commercial type thing with all of you guys doing some sort of goofball. One person throws into the next person on the screen, like that thing, and the kids want to watch it, and then they would understand it.

Sarah Iverson: Like a commercial.

Jenn Breisacher: Yeah. Yeah. The next thing you know, they’re like, oh, I can go get help with my homework. It’s so nice that they’ve started doing that.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Oh, my God, that’s so funny.

Jenn Breisacher: It’s all about the presentation.

Sarah Iverson: We’ve been having it all along.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah. But you didn’t realize it.

Jenn Breisacher: You just smile and nod and you’re really happy you’re wearing a mask because they can’t actually see the face. Like really?

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah, I love wearing my mask.

Jenn Breisacher: But now, I mean that if I could give you guys one piece of advice that would be it and it seems to be the biggest hiccup that a lot of schools are having is like you guys understand the plan and you think they understand the plan, but they might not. So, if you change it like I said, make a funny video, do something that just at least catches their attention and use terminology that they get and simplify it. You’ll probably have way more kids engaging with that because now they know it’s a thing.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah, I have noticed a bunch of schools who already opened up and had kids come back, did like songs with what the new protocols were…

Jenn Breisacher: Yes.

Val Shindo-Uehira: …so kids would know.

Jenn Breisacher: My kids’ elementary school all the teachers did I think it was at the car wash, but they changed it to at the hand wash and all the teachers are out there washing their hands and showing how far apart they had to be and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, so they love the videos, and you throw it on Tik Tok or something. Forget it.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Right, right. Yeah.

Sarah Iverson: So, we do have Instagram, Facebook, and I think Twitter so we could throw it up on those social media so they would see it.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Yeah.

Jenn Breisacher: Definitely and then if you do have PTO parents or something like that they can share it on their own pages. I know where I live there’s a lot of neighborhoods, and each neighborhood has its own Facebook group. You can try to find a parent from each one that can share it in there and then that way they see it. It’s really just a matter of making it go, I don’t want to say viral because that’s not obviously what necessarily you want to have happen but amongst all of your people that it gets shared where it needs to be.

Sarah Iverson: I’m really sorry. I have kids in my waiting room right now.

Jenn Breisacher: Okay.

Sarah Iverson: Yes, I have homework support…

Jenn Breisacher: See. There you go. it’s happening already.

Val Shindo-Uehira: …and I’ve got three kiddies right here.

Jenn Breisacher: Perfect. Well, I will let you go and help them. This was an awesome little conversation to have. Honestly, if you guys or your school or anything but he needs help or when you guys start getting the kids back in there if you need ideas. The engagements not going back up or anything you can feel free to reach out and I’d really be happy to help you.

Sarah Iverson: Awesome. Thank you. Nice talking to you.

Jenn Breisacher: Thanks. Have a great day.

Val Shindo-Uehira: Bye.

Sarah Iverson: Bye.

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After moving from a teacher-dominated classroom to a truly student-centered one, Jenn found herself helping colleagues who wanted to follow her lead.  In 2018 she decided to expand outside of her school walls and help those out there who were also trying to figure out this fantastic method of instruction to ignite intrinsic motivation in their students.  Read more about her journey with Student-Centered World at studentcenteredworld.com/about

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