A head teacher shares his top distance teaching tips

A huge thank you to Peter Fogarty, Head Teacher at Maria International School in Bucharest, for sharing his distance teaching resource recommendations and advice on how to cope with teaching under lockdown. 

Tried and tested tips

Maria International School has explored a wide range of teaching resources. Here are some of the materials we use.

Zoom is being used as a daily video conferencing. For 80% of the time it works well. However as soon as America goes online, the quality of internet and server speed drops like a stone (at around 10am UK time). So, try to get your class face-to-face time in as early as possible.

For sharing and storage of materials, we set up new email accounts and then created new Google Drive folders to share information with parents. We also set up throw away email addresses so we could temporarily chat with parents directly. After the crisis, the email addresses can be deleted or saved for another day.

(Google is supporting schools facing closures with advanced Hangouts Meet capabilities for free to all G Suite customers until 1st July. For more details on this click here.)

Weekly planning resources

For weekly planning, I personally use and recommend these two sources:

Hamilton Trust Home Learning Packs – provides resources for all English and Maths from Reception to Year 6.

Twinkl home learning hub – full day teach program across the school plus the essential free password which you can find here.

What else is helpful?

I’ve found LinkedIn to be a wonderful source of information about what other schools are doing.

Finally, please take the time to check out this list of free teaching resources from ECIS. It is constantly growing, so worth visiting frequently.

Peter Fogarty is the Headteacher of Maria International school. He has lived and worked in Romania since 2002 and has found this latest crisis a wake up call. It’s a moment we should all be using to reflect on our teaching practices and adding a new direction to our teaching and learning skills and techniques. Follow Peter on Twitter and connect with him on teaglo.

This is the first in a new distance teaching blog series by teachers and educational leaders, about life during the current global health crisis. We want to hear about your experience of school closures, distance teaching, wellbeing and everything in between. Please email elizabeth@teaglo.com if you’d like to contribute a blog.

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