Emergency Remote Learning in Middle Schools

30 minutes

This week on TeachLab, Justin Reich joins Blake Middle School of Medfield, MA for their Monday morning check-in to discuss the many challenges of distance learning, and the specific challenges of middle schools, who have uniquely diverse age-groups to address. Principal Nat Vaughn guides the discussion and provides questions for Justin to shed light on with his experience and research.

“when I was a brand new teacher, my department head used to say.... every time you assign an essay, you're assigning 75 different essays. The experience that your students have writing this is just going to be so different for each student. And that was in normal non-crisis pandemic times, I feel like that advice is magnified a thousand times now.”

  • Teaching Systems Lab’s COVID-19 State Guidance Report
  • Recognizing a diversity in individual experiences
  • How virtual schools function
  • The challenges of the middle school age group
  • The need to remain flexible and understanding of each other
  • Remaining critical and parting from state guidance
  • Celebrating the learning that does happen
  • Reach out to those most vulnerable or struggling


Note to the audience:

The Teaching Systems Lab and the TeachLab team would like to thank all of our audience for their patronage as we attempt to shift our production and content in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We think it is of the utmost importance to continue distributing as much content as we can, and as widely as we can, to assist those who are in need of information in these difficult times. We are working to improve the quality of our content with these new constraints and get back to a more regular scheduling. Thank you for your patience.


Resources and Links

Learn more about the TSL “Remote Learning Guidance from State Education Agencies During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A First Look” Report 

Read the LA Times article “Inside teachers’ never-ending crisis shifts: ‘You just keep going all day and all night’”

Learn more about author Tressie McMillan Cottom





Join our course on edX!

Becoming a More Equitable Educator: Mindsets and Practices


Produced and edited by Aimee Corrigan and Garrett Beazley 

Mixed by Garrett Beazley


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