To the math teachers and students in our community:
As the threat of pandemic forces schools and districts to close, the world is realizing in real-time all the vital functions served by schools and teachers: shelter, health care, social-emotional support, food security, community, and of course, education.
Schools and districts are currently making an enormous request of teachers to switch modalities and start developing relationships and ideas virtually. We have reservations about this form of instruction and know it is often least helpful for students who need the most help. But we realize that some help is likely better than none, and we want to use our resources to help you make the best of a very challenging situation.
We have assembled a team of senior members from across our company to support you, including:
- Jenny Wales (Product)
- Shelley Carranza (Community)
- Stephanie Blair (Professional Learning)
- Dan Meyer (Teaching)
Over the upcoming weeks you can expect from us:
- Community. Our educators group on Facebook is now focused full time on supporting virtual teachers. We will feature regular opportunities for you to learn and level up your virtual teaching skills, and provide a community where you can trade ideas with other math educators in the same situation, along with memes, jokes, and other frivolous stuff to help you keep your head straight.
- Professional Learning. Many of you are teaching in a new modality. Many of you are missing out on conferences you were counting on for licensing hours, learning, and community. So we will be inviting many of our favorite speakers to offer webinars over the next several weeks. We will also offer sessions on virtual teaching with Desmos in case we can support your new work. Check learn.desmos.com/coronavirus to see sessions as they are added.
- Activity Clinics. Are you looking to find or create an activity to help your students learn math virtually? Two of our activity developers, John Rowe and Jay Chow, are offering consultation hours. Step into Johnâ€™s office or Jayâ€™s office, and theyâ€™ll help you get started or move forward.
- Support. Weâ€™re listening. Weâ€™d love to know how we can support you and your students beyond the efforts outlined above. Whatever you need or want to share, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage you to offer yourself and your students as much grace and care as you can. Many of your studentsâ€™ families are in extremely precarious conditions right now. Many of you yourself have children whose schools were closed, and youâ€™re now scrambling to provide child care alongside instruction. Math class may need to fall several places on the priority list.
Wherever math class falls, and however much you and your students are working on math, weâ€™ll be here to work with you as well.
Jenny, Shelley, Stephanie, and Dan
P.S. Weâ€™re extending a couple of submission deadlines to help you prioritize your time and attention. The Desmos Global Math Art Contest, a creative assignment your students can complete virtually, is extended until April 30, 2020. You may also submit applications for our curriculum pilot until March 31, 2020. If your school hasnâ€™t opened by that date, please email email@example.com for a later deadline.