Intentional Educators are thoughtful when choosing topics, planning classes, and selecting instructional or technology resources.
|Core Values||Classroom Ideas|
|Develop classes with clear expectations and outcomes.||– “Plan backwards.” Think about what outcomes learners should achieve after completing class, then design activities to drive them toward that goal.|
– Plan for the “what ifs.” Example: A learner doesn’t have class materials, a learner is disruptive, etc.
– Share your expectations and set goals at the beginning of class. Empower learners to create and enforce expectations, as well.
|Use creativity and pedagogical tools to enhance learner experiences in a remote setting.||– Integrate appropriate technology and online teaching tools into the virtual classroom.|
|Incorporate ways to empower and connect with learners into lesson plans.||– Use open-ended discussion questions and inclusive activities to encourage participation from each learner.|
|Ensure that the classroom is a welcoming environment for all learners.||– Read and implement Outschool’s safety and privacy policies.|
Universal Design for Learning –> This teaching and learning framework is based on scientific insights into how humans learn and can help you create an intentional classroom environment.
Edutopia –> Comprehensive educational website with articles, tips, and resources for teachers of all ages and learners.
Google Forms –> Create google forms for students to use throughout the lesson and provide feedback at the end of the lesson.
Outschool Teacher Support –> Access our online teacher support article to find answers to common questions about teaching on Outschool.
Outschool Safety & Privacy –> Review Outschool’s policies on protecting learner safety and privacy.
Tips from Intentional Educators
Arden Ashley-Wurtmann – I think about which lessons or projects I wish I had had more time for when I was a brick-and-mortar classroom teacher. What did I always regret having to cut from the curriculum? What were my favorite lessons that I just wish we had more time to explore deeply? What do I wish I could teach over and over again? Then I create classes around those topics. For example, I never had enough time to really teach my students how to use algebra tiles when we were in class. The most I ever got to do was to introduce the algebra tiles to small groups of students — usually just for one lesson. So I designed two Outschool classes specifically on how to use Algebra tiles. These are some of my favorite classes because I get to teach using methods that really make me feel satisfied as an educator. Even if I have only a couple kids sign up, I am so happy to teach those sections, and that’s how I know I am doing what I love.
Latonya Moore – I teach classes that are practical and useful. I chose this method because I know that some learners will need these class types just as much as classes that are created around themes. I like creating classes that reflect my calm personality, and that focus on topics that I have 1000% confidence in even when I am taking time to learn even more about these topics. I start with my goal for the class in mind. Being goal-centered helps me to not be all over the place in my teaching. My classes have the same structure, but I have adjusted the structure based on my learners’ responses to the different activities I’ve incorporated. I keep the activities they love, and I let go of the ones that they aren’t too interested in. This has allowed me to create a flow that is familiar to long-time learners and welcoming to new learners.
Cindy Frank – I love using Powerpoint to guide my students through lessons, in great part because I teach art history and visuals are essential. But that option also gives me the opportunity to do something critical: I am always looking at my students and responding to them.
Like so many of us I was a classroom teacher and it often was hard to see what everyone in the room was doing or feeling. The intriguing part of Zoom teaching for me is that I feel more connected to my students on the Zoom platform than ever. That’s fantastic!
Karen Bunyan – I ensure that there are differentiated activities in my lessons – especially for final tasks. I have always differentiated my lessons in B & M schools, be it by task, outcome or style but I have found this even more important since teaching on Outschool. Because you are usually unaware of the ability and level of new students it is essential that there is a range of learning styles/tasks/questions available in order to ensure that you can challenge and support each student. This is not always easy to do in a single one off lesson but as teachers it is our responsibility to ensure all students in our classroom make good progress and therefore this is an area of my practise that I am constantly developing and adapting now that Outschool is my classroom.
Teacher Jorge – I use various props such as plastic vegetables and fruits and real props as well ranging from fruit, drinks and candies. I would say that the majority of my classes revolve around three characters and the original stories that I have created for them. I have invested significant time in creating dialogue and interactions between them and me. They also interact with each learner in a significant way. The adventures range from going to the market, to a party, making a pizza for a pizza party, going to the beach, making soup, going on safari, and much more. The classes I give are Spanish immersion and the characters I created help me a great deal with the initial contact. I use a pig, a frog and ducky and other minor characters who have unique personalities. They are my pride and joy when teaching. I am including a picture of my friends, Mermoo(pig), Patito(ducky) and Rana(frog). I use them in all my slides and as real props too.