In my school district, engagement with boys is at an all-time high. In my position, I support 12 schools. Ten elementary schools and two middle. I have the opportunity to visit each school and observe at least four classes a week at every school (48).

Since we began face-to-face instruction on October 19th due to covid and two hurricanes, I’ve visited hundreds of classrooms. The level of engagement with students has increased tremendously, especially boys. I’ve asked 150 boys why did they prefer working and collaborating in breakout rooms?

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Boys are tactile learners.
  • Engaging in discussion in breakout rooms is safe. Even if you don’t like to talk, you can type.
  •  It’s cool to be in a room with your boys 
  • Peers motivate and inspire one another in small strategic groups
  • According, to the boys, “this is cool. It’s like playing Fortnite, but you’re in school.

Before Covid, we were doing an excellent job of preparing our children for the 20th century. But, it’s the 21st century. For years students have been begging for us to teach differently and that technology was their preferred method of learning. Yet, we implemented policies to punish them. Now we’re trying to catch up. I’m excited about where we are as educators as we are so much better, wiser, more resilient, and so much better as it relates to the implementation of technology than we were at this time last year. Let’s not relax and wait for the next catastrophic event to be innovative. Our children are depending on us.