To do more DCPS should try doing less

So for many teachers and staff the most predictable thing
ever happened and they had a frustrating or poor experience on the first day of
DCPS distance learning. It’s no secret I preferred the slow down and get it
right method rather than jump in feet first and hope for the best one.  

During good times with lots of prep and lead time DCPS has a
difficult time rolling things out so to think we would have anything but a
difficult time switching 8000 teachers and 120 thousand students to distance
learning was pie in the sky stuff that dreams are made of.
Deep breaths, woosha, deep breaths.
Now that I am done bitching, let’s try and come up with some
solutions and let me suggest we do less so we can do more.
The system is overwhelmed, duh, does anybody remember the
first few days of school when the internet didn’t work or does anybody try and
do grades on days they are due? When it’s just a few thousand teachers it gets overwhelmed,
well now those teachers are all down loading videos and assignments, and attachments
and this and that while tens of thousands of students and parents try to reach
them. I am surprised we haven’t heard the sounds of transformers blowing.
First let’s take a deep breath and then let’s take a step back.
Teaches, friends, maybe let’s not do any videos which I
imagine suck up a lot of what little internet resources we have, then let’s not
have any live meetings either. These things may or may not come, but let’s put
a pin in them for now because we have to unburden the system. We have to lighten
it’s load.
Then let’s cut down on the assignments too (sort of). Like
many of you I was gung ho and put up a half dozen but as I looked at my team
page, I thought, this looks cluttered and confusing. So I took them all down.
That’s not to say I didn’t post any assignments. I created a
file and uploaded a word document with links, to it so everything is in one
neat looking place. I included it below so you can see it.
I mean seriously is anybody else looking at their team page
and feeling overwhelmed by all the clutter because I know I was.  Then finally I emailed my families and that
works for me because I have a smalls amount of students, so I know it won’t
work for everyone, but for those it does, include your assignment in your email.
I attached a document named assignments March 23rd with what I would like them
to do. Not what I needed them, or required them, but would like. Tomorrow I
will email them with an attachment named March 24th.
When we were put on lock down I felt like the best plan was
to just relax, take care of ourselves and family members, nobody is going to
die, err, you know what I mean, missing a month of school and while staff was
out the district could slowly start to train teachers, and rollout resources,
so if we are going to be out past the 15th everything could be
tested and in place. I didn’t and don’t feel as if a power point, a webinar and
a go get em, was nearly enough but right now we are where we are and I think
doing less may be the best way for us to do more. Just my two cents.    
Two more things, there is nothing wrong with wanting to do
more or wanting to jump in with two feet, it is admirable, it is laudable, and
then I have seen some amazing esprit de corps the last few days’ teachers and
staff helping teachers and staff, it makes me proud to be a DCPS teacher. Then
what the district staff has done has been herculean to say the least. Even for
us to be where we are is impressive, and they should be proud of themselves and
we should be proud of them.
All that being said, I think our leadership at the top has
some questions to answer, I don’t feel like they have put us in a position to succeed.
Leadership isn’t saying, go do the impossible, it is putting people in a
position where the possible is achievable. People including people I respect
and appreciate have lauded the super’s performance. I have a different take on
that. Slow and steady wins the race, not here is a power point and a webinar, good
This is what I uploaded as a file to my Team page and emailed to my families. No assignments, no videos, no meetings. Just a word file and a PDF 

First let’s take a moment and relax, please click the link:
Now let’s help plan for our day by checking the weather.
When you sign on you will have to add your home town or zip code. If you don’t
know ask your parent or care giver.
Okay now that we know what our day is going to look like
let’s find out what is happening in the world by watching the CNN10. Remember
this won’t tell us everything that is going on in the world but it will give us
a nice slice of stories.
If you want to discuss with your parent or caregiver any of
the stories you found interesting
You are doing great. Now I would like you to open the PDF
Telephone 3 and read pages, 6-8. If you need help with some words you can ask
your parents or caregivers.
Caregivers and parents if you look through the PDF you can find
different versions that you think may be more appropriate for your student.
Finally friends, I know things have been stressful, so
please watch the video to help you get through this.
That’s it for today, stay safe and you will hear from me tomorrow.

Note: Sometime around 1 my team disappeared, so be careful to back up, what you put up.

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One Reply to “To do more DCPS should try doing less”

  1. Chris,after trying to be a "team" player, I switched over to good old Outlook, sent my kids their work, and listened to some music while I responded to my kids concerns. Imagine, I did all that without any hiccups. Sometimes we really don't know to reinvent the wheel! By the way, I loved the video!

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