Catholic School Matters

September 21, 2020

Learning While Doing

What are you learning now about yourself and your practice during the pandemic? What will you bring forward? It’s foolish to simply hope for the return of normalcy as if we’ll just resume life as we knew it. But it’s equally foolish to leave all the reflecting and learning until after this experience is over. After all, the process of learning is what we’re all about.

It’s time to carve out some time and mind space to notice what this educational disruption has brought to our practice and workflows and what we want to bring forward. For example, I’m attending faculty meetings (virtually, of course) and connecting with far more people, far more often than I normally do.

A couple of dioceses have launched online Catholic schools to serve their remote learners (and free up their current teachers from simultaneous instruction). How much will online learning be part of Catholic schools?

Even if you’re not currently teaching remotely, it’s worth considering the best practices of remote learning and how that could improve your teaching, regardless of the setting. Here are four well-known bloggers/podcasters providing great material:

· George Couros provide a two-part series on Ideas to Consider for Remote Learning as well as 4 Ideas for Empowering Student Learning. Agency and choice are certainly aspects that have crept into our instructional practice.

· Katie Martin provides How we can make the most of remote learning which builds on her March post on Creating authentic learning experiences at home.

· Caitlin Tucker explores how to used blended learning models to teach students simultaneously.

· Jennifer Gonzalez challenges the value of packets and review worksheets in Frickin’ Packets.

· Vicki Davis has a great podcast and blog on Successful distance learning for elementary students and another on a 4-part distance learning instructional framework. This is obviously the toughest task and our primary teachers who are remotely teaching deserve all our support.

If you’re currently teaching remotely, enjoy the resources which can be used immediately. But we’ll come out of this pandemic stronger if we spend time noticing and developing these best practices to carry forward.

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Dr. Tim Uhl

Focused Reflection


Catholic School Matters podcast

Wednesday on the Catholic School Matters podcast I'm going to release a conversation with Elizabeth Goettl of the Cristo Rey network. She'll bring us up to date on new developments and the challenges that the pandemic has brought to the Cristo Rey schools.

Check out my past episodes from this season:

What I'm Reading

    The Last 5 Books:

    1. The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory (2004) by Roberta M. Gilbert
    2. American Dirt (2020) by Jeanine Cummins
    3. Resilent Leadership: Navigating the Chemistry of Organizations (2009) by Bob Duggan & Jim Moyer.
    4. Resilient Leadership 2.0: Leading wth Calm, Clarity, and Conviction in Anxious Times (2017) by Bob Duggan & Bridgette Theurer.
    5. Racial Justice & the Catholic Church (2010) by Bryan N. Massingale

            Click this link for a full list of my professional reading

            Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

            Sep 14, 2020 "Connecting the Disconnected"

            Aug 31, 2020 "Racial Injustice"

            Aug 24, 2020 "Figuring it Out"

            Aug 17, 2020 Serenity Prayer

            May 24, 2020 Value Proposition During Uncertain Times

            For previous newsletters, click this link

            Orchestrating Conflict

            Orchestrating Conflict: Case Studies in Catholic Leadership is now available on Amazon or on the Barnes & Noble site in print or e-book formats. The book explores issues in Catholic school leadership and the tensions between building community and following Church policies and introduces deliberate practice as a method for leadership formation. This is my first book and has been an ongoing project for the past couple of years.