When schools shut their doors in March 2020, SLPs and educators world wide headed home to begin teaching online, and we began searching for ways to help them do the job that they love to do. Knowing those who were new to the world of online teaching needed resources, our Virtual Teacher’s Lounge was born.
Part master class, part learning cohort, part support group, and part coffee klatch (much like every teacher’s lounge since the dawn of time), our online lounge opened up twice each week. Any SLP or educator from anywhere who wanted to was welcome to log in.
Topics like “How to use the Zoom whiteboard and screen share” in March gave way to “How to keep students motivated and learning online” in April. May and June were full of ideas for online games and resources, conversations about self-advocacy, executive functions, developing curriculum, and sharing lesson plans, PowerPoint slides, Google docs, and reading lists.
Of course, being a true teacher’s lounge, albeit online, we also chatted about our hair, our snacking habits, our recipes, our sources for groceries, our kids, our partners, our virtual backgrounds, and our actual backgrounds.
We shared our concerns for our students, our communities, and the world at large. We mourned the loss of friends, colleagues, and loved ones. We celebrated birthdays, successful lessons, making it through another week, and each other.
Teacher’s Lounge has been our recess, our respite, and our ridiculously brilliant posse all in one. To say that we are grateful for the SLPs and educators who have joined us in that space – some every time – is an understatement. They became our virtual family.
If you are looking to grow your own family, come join us. The link is here. For the 2021-2022 school year, the lounge will open the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM (Eastern time). In each session, we’ll share tips and best practices for bridging research with day-to-day-practice.