In the words of a headteacher: how being entrepreneurial helped us deliver online teaching amid a pandemic with limited resources

Hajrije Devetaku is the director of European School of Kosova in Pristina, Kosovo. For this guest post, she describes how her entire school turned entrepreneurial and creative to deliver online teaching amid the Covid-19 pandemic with very limited resources. Whilst in other countries, some online teaching materials might exist, this is not the case for Kosovo. Hajrije and her colleagues prepared an entire teaching toolbox and assessment approaches not just for obligatory classes but for all classes across grades 1 to 12.

Despite the fact that we were not prepared for such a situation, online teaching was immediately made possible by the willingness and positive responses of the staff of European School of Kosova. Since the first day that schools were closed by the Government of Kosovo, the teaching process is being held in all school subjects, and it only took us two days of preparation and instructions in order to start.

Even though this is the first time we are implementing online teaching, the process is being managed very well thanks to the cooperation and dedication of the school leadership and teachers.  A great job is being done by the school and teachers in all subjects. In addition, online classes are being held every day, as they were planned, by using the virtual platform Zoom. However, teachers also use other distance learning platforms such as Google Classroom, Email, Skype, etc. Parents and students are considered to play a very important part in implementing distance learning, and we should mention that they really welcomed it and they are helping to make this process a successful one.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that teachers continuously collect data and evidence on students’ learning and progress, which facilitates the final assessment process. Some of the data or evaluation forms collected by the school are worksheets, projects, practical assignments, research skills, etc. that students submit via emails, Google Classroom or WhatsApp and Viber, which are usually used for the submission of video recordings.

Another form of gathering evidence for assessment is the school’s Facebook page, where an assignment is first published for students and then the students submit their tasks by commenting or uploading their video-recordings, photos, etc.

The focus of teachers’ work is based on lifelong Learning Competencies.

Among other things, as part of online teaching are the classes being held by form teachers, where the values are discussed, those values that the school also has on its focus of development. On classroom or school environment, they are part of every school day during the first 15 minutes of the teaching process.

In some cases, such as physical education, music, and fine arts, the curricula have been adapted in order to suit the needs of students at home conditions.

Everything is possible when the work is done with dedication and love for the students and when it is guided by our main principles, values and competences.

The European School of Kosovo continuously promotes innovative and entrepreneurial teaching, by actively involving all students, and constantly aiming to achieve the vision to provide an inspiring, educational and challenging environment where students will be able to develop a passion for life and learning.

Hajrije Devetaku Gojani, Director, European School of Kosova

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