What’s the right way to approach a new BLT (Blended Learning Teacher)?
I recently worked with one, and I made some mistakes. Big mistakes. Learn from my errors.
I didn’t look carefully at the content
There were some technical issues with the provided content. I hadn’t looked at that grade/course in a while, but they were issues I knew (and had forgotten) about. First thing we looked at together: nothing. Next thing: broken. Oops. I might have overpromised a little here.
I assumed I knew what they wanted
I thought I knew where the needs were, based on my knowledge of the school, the teacher, the students… but I was wrong. And you know what’s worse? I didn’t listen carefully when the teacher explained what they were hoping for, and I jumped into what I thought they needed. Bad move.
I showed a bazillion examples for inspiration
This stuff is exciting to me, so I want everyone to see all the possibilities. I knew I should ask more questions, refine the boundaries of what we were trying to do, but I didn’t. I thought, “I’ll show a few examples of what other people have done; something will look interesting to this teacher.” Nope; it just looked scary. Too many options, many of them too far from the teacher’s goals. I knew better.
If the teacher contacts me again (I hope they do), we’re going to have a softer start. I need to give people time to think about these things; I’ve had years of thinking, conversations, practice,….
And next time I’ll listen more than I talk.