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‘The Secret Of Getting Things Done Is To Act’ (Dante Alighieri)

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‘The Secret Of Getting Things Done Is To Act’ (Dante Alighieri)
by Jill Fitzsimons - Thursday, 26 March 2020, 8:44 AM

There’s a terrific video going viral (!) on You Tube at the moment: ‘I Will Survive, Coronavirus version for teachers going online’:

which is providing a great deal of mirth and inspiration for teachers around the globe as they put into action all of the professional learning they’ve had on online platforms, as well as furiously developing new skills and understandings to ensure this week’s new adventure runs as seamlessly as possible. In the song, teacher Michael Bruening, sings of the guts and determination involved in heading into the brave new world of teaching online, an assignment not for the feint-hearted given all the permutations and combinations that come with such an undertaking.

Suddenly the technical aspects of our professional learning program have borne real fruit. The College has invested a lot of time and capital into transferring our courses to our online learning management system, MyMC, a platform developed by the company SchoolBox. This hasn’t always been easy. We have a large staff with varying levels of confidence and experience, so this has meant we’ve had to be persistent, encouraging and at times, unapologetically insistent, that this was the direction we were heading in and in time, it would all make sense and be terrific.

Our endeavour has been communal, as well as individual. Staff must collaborate to learn how to use the system and commit to developing their individual skills. We all know what it’s like to learn how to use a new phone or software – you must be resilient and ask plenty of questions – while also accepting that sometimes things don’t work or aren’t obvious and you just have to keep at it and push through. In a way, this underlines an important about professional learning, it takes time but is transformative.

Apart from MyMC, staff have had to upskill with Teams, Clickview and learn to use the Windows Gaming application to ensure students can still feel apart of a classroom experience, collaborate with their peers and teachers and participate in synchronous, as well as asynchronous learning.

There’s no doubt that the urgency of the situation we have found ourselves in has rewarded staff who have persisted with technical professional learning, justified our relationship with SchoolBox, Microsoft and Centorrino Technologies and proved to staff that hard work always pays off and that we undertake change for a very good reason. Schools who fail to embrace technological change can be found wanting. The adrenalin rush that’s come with having to suddenly prepare for a week of online learning has also led to rapid development of new skills and pushed staff to cover off on tasks that they’ve been meaning to do but just hadn’t quite got there – a  common story given the busyness of a teacher’s day and all the curveballs that come with working with teenage boys.

As Dante says, ‘The secret of getting things done is to act’ and we’ve done that. Well done to our staff and all that support our professional learning program at Marcellin. We’re ready to support and develop our students’ online learning and provide them with a sense of calm and normality.