#26 – Teacher Insights with Leif Voltz

Unpacking Education February 10, 2021 23 min

Welcome back to Teacher Insights at Tech Talk for Teachers. With this series, we celebrate teachers and the important role that you play in our lives and community. We learn about what is happening in virtual and hybrid classrooms across the country—what is working and what’s challenging.

This week, we meet with Leif Voltz, a middle school science teacher from Salk Middle School in Elk River, Minnesota. From remembering the announcement on March 14, 2020—when face-to-face learning was disrupted—to today, Leif, his students, and their families have experienced many shifts. Having prior experience with a blended-learning cohort in his district, Leif shares lessons learned about adaptability, the importance of planning for the unknown, and keeping things simple.

Join our Digital Learning Specialists as they talk with Leif about his experiences during pandemic learning—from his worries about students who he hasn’t seen this academic year to how he translates his energy that engages students when face-to-face to the virtual-learning environment. Leif shares, “We do something fun at the start of every day to help students feel safe and normal when everything isn’t.”

Paul Beckermann
PreK-12 Digital Learning Specialist
Rena Clark
Digital Learning Coach
Pamela Beckermann
PreK-12 Digital Learning Specialist

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

Walt Disney, entrepreneur, animator, writer, voice actor, and film producer

Teachers Need Teachers

Inspiration comes in many forms. For teachers, we often look to one another for support, empathy, validation, and understanding. This week, with Leif Voltz, we’ll talk about the impact that shifting between learning models has on both the teacher and students, as well as the unforeseeable a-ha! moments and reflections that have helped him develop new ways to engage students despite physical distance.

Teacher Insights

From investigating the best and worst lessons that have been taught to discussion about pedagogy and techniques, we talk with teachers to learn how their practice has changed during pandemic teaching—their challenges, their successes, and their wonderings for the future. Tune in to hear more about one teacher’s response to the important questions below:

  1. Can you describe how your school has been set up during the pandemic?
  2. What have been your greatest successes?
  3. What have been your challenges and have you found ways to overcome them?
  4. How are you engaging students during distance learning? How do you maintain teacher presence?
  5. What do you wish you would have known a year ago?
  6. What blended learning strategies did you use during hybrid learning? What about during distance learning? How did it compare to using them before distance learning?
  7. How are you empowering students (giving them voice and choice)?