The 2020-21 Pandemic and Kagan UK. A Personal Outpouring.
Hi folks, Gavin here. With the addition of a blog to our new KaganUK website I thought I would give our many friends around the world an insight into life in the UK since the start of the Pandemic back in March 2020.
As you can imagine with the majority of our face-to-face workshops taking place in schools, Colleges and Universities, as these closed our core business, training educators, stopped.
Or did it?
This was a time locally and nationally, first and foremost to work to help keep people safe. My incredible daughter, Hannah, just happened to be visiting from her home in Liverpool, Jack, Hannah's significant other, was also taking the time to visit his family in Essex. The national lockdown was announced and Hannah found herself more or less trapped at 'Dad's house', little did she imagine she would spend several weeks apart from Jack stuck at the family home whilst Jack was 'trapped' with his family. The house was bathed in summer sun by now, and, if you knew Hannah, which a lot of you do, you would know she doesn't do 'lounging around'- jump forward another few weeks and the family house, under the auspices of Task Master Hannah is now decorated from top to toe, even the loft space is cleared and organised. TikTok dance in the can and uploaded, lol. It actually sounds fantastic on one level, who wouldn't want to spend time with the ones we love yet all around the UK and the world millions of people are extremely ill and fighting for life.
My own parents, both in their mid eighties, were shielding and relying on family for all their day to day care and support. Captain Tom is now 30 lengths in and yet another step nearer to raising a phenomenal amount of much needed cash for the stretched NHS. Best friend, and fellow educator Stewart, had jumped in to volunteer and was now one of the '1 million helpers'. Taking calls to assist the vulnerable and elderly, trips to the shops or dashing to gather important prescriptions from the pharmacy for those who couldn't go themselves.
Thursday nights- you know what is coming... they well... got weird, standing in the street clapping for the heroes working to combat this deadly virus on the frontline, NHS nurses and Doctors. When I say weird, it actually became a habit and weirdly comforting to see now familiar neighbours up and down the street standing in their front yards making a common racket to show support for a common cause.
Back to Kagan UK, if you have ever attended a face-to-face workshop with us you will know just how engaging they are and how much is required to participate fully so we got creative. With the help of a bunch of very talented Kagan trainers guided by the amazing Tom Finegan, we got to switching to Zoom, an online platform I'm sure you all know now, but back then the only 'Zoom' I knew was the catchy tune from Fat Larry's Band.
The first version of the Live Online class was ready for a road test. A call to Carrie, awesome Associate KaganUK trainer and head of school in South Wales. Next thing, Carrie had mustered a small army of teachers and TA's willing to help me style out the new format and join me to iron out the wrinkles. #BANG guess what? Kagan is so awesome for engagement and instruction it works amazingly.
Several weeks of iteration and we are good to go.
Just how long can this pandemic last- right? Who knew we would be passing grim mile stones every week. Now almost 10 months in life has changed. I don't see my grandkids like I used to- which breaks my heart- but they know I love them. My own kids and parents are sick of me I'm sure Facetiming once, twice even three times a day yet every cloud... as they say. I am more determined than ever to support teachers to support students. I believe in equity, fairness and opportunity and Kagan Structures and me are still on that same mission I started fifteen years ago!!... I'll get better at this blog.. forgive me if it rambled, I just let it pour out.
Below is a description of one of the new workshops we now smash out every day with teachers all over the UK, Ireland and even Guernsey (yeah I know that is UK) and some fantastic friends in Norway- hei og god dag!
This workshop is an online version of Kagan’s signature training, Kagan Cooperative Learning. Course materials are sent in advance, to be distributed to participants. The training is conducted live by a Kagan Master Trainer over Zoom. Participants join the workshop using a computer, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection. The interactive instructional strategies taught are for teachers to implement during classroom instruction, when it is safe to return to school. Participants learn dozens of structures to boost engagement and learning for every student, every lesson.
Motivate and reach your most reluctant learners and enhance achievement of all learners with research proven, brain-friendly instructional strategies! Secondary and Primary teachers alike will increase engagement, boost test scores, and reduce the achievement gap. Build powerful learning teams in your classroom and use proven Kagan methods for team formation, management, thinking skills, presentation skills, and decision making. Teambuilding, classbuilding, communication skills, and social skills strategies provide social-emotional learning while delivering academic content. Join us to fill your toolbox with easy-to-use, full-engagement strategies that enhance student engagement and achievement. Teachers report the strategies immediately transform their teaching and accelerate student learning.
Keep safe friends.