Students help Sarasota teacher give best

Ali Binswanger, Third-grade Teacher, Lakeview Elementary School
Ali Binswanger, Third-grade Teacher, Lakeview Elementary School

LEARNING TO ADAPT, ADAPTING TO LEARN

Editor’s note: This column is the latest in a series with teachers and students describing how they are adapting to the new school year’s pandemic-altered environment. 

Meet Ali Binswanger, a third-grade teacher at Lakeview Elementary School. She is Sarasota County’s 2020 Teacher of the Year Ignite Innovation award winner.

Thank goodness for my awesome third graders.

This has been the most difficult start to a school year in my 21 years of teaching. Figuring out new ways to teach third-grade math and science, while accommodating COVID-19 safety measures, has been doable for me because my students have risen to the challenge.

They’ve had a lot of practice in these first weeks. My 12 in-class students and 10 remote learners are modeling patience and kindness with each other and me as they watch me adapt to teaching them concurrently.

My biggest concern isn’t whether I become an expert tech troubleshooter. (I’m getting more tech-savvy every day.) Or the extra hours it takes to put lessons online on Blackboard and PowerPoint. (The rationale for preparing to teach remotely makes sense.) Or reinventing favorite math and science experiments to make them compliant with COVID-19 guidelines. (I enjoy developing new and innovative lessons.)

Innovative teaching takes different forms now. Continue reading.