If a crisis can be an inflection point for innovation, a changing education imperative was required immediately in March. With an all-hands-on-deck attitude, Kent County educators initiated digital classroom platforms to continue teaching their students.
Dr. Mary Spiri, Principal of Kent County Middle School, talked with the Spy about some of the challenges, concerns, and successes as classrooms shifted from classroom to computer monitors, a world far from the normal educational experience.
Spiri says that while the online system has been robust technologically, it remains to be seen how middle-schoolers develop socially and emotionally without the on-site classroom experience. Learning is about relationships and trust, she notes, and without the one-on-one teacher-student relationship, it becomes harder to customize lessons around any individual student’s needs.
The Kent Middle School Principal has also been impressed by parents’ engagement with the new process.
“I have not bumped into a single parent all this time who is not saying I want my child to learn. Help me learn how to do that more on my end.”
Here, we talked with Dr. Spiri about the spectrum of challenges facing educators in this “new normal” and how they continue to build a bridge to the students they no longer see in their classrooms daily.
Kent County Middle School is lucky to have her at the helm of educating this critical developmental age group and helping her teachers steer them on the right path toward academic and career success.
This video is approximately ten minutes in length.