Okay, so let’s face…virtual learning is tough for everyone involved (students, parents, and teachers). I have been on the receiving end of each role and worked to navigate virtual learning and teaching over the past year. This got me thinking…I should create a blog post with tips for each person involved in virtual learning to help those (like me and my fam) cope with the daily demands of virtual learning/teaching.
“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you are responding to what’s happening. That’s where the power is.” -Anonymous
Tips for Parents
- Be patient with your children and your children’s teachers. Easier said than done (I know), but by taking some deep breaths, and having patience when things get frustrating, you will save not only your stress level but theirs as well.
- Leave your child be during their live sessions with the teachers. When your child is at school, you’re not there sitting beside them while they are learning. Why should virtual learning be any different?
- Establish and maintain daily routines. Your child needs a daily schedule and should be expected to follow it. Print and post the daily schedule the teacher shared for both you and your child to see. If your child’s teacher did not share a daily schedule, create one! Be sure to include everything from breakfast, class times, breaks, lunch, outside time, etc.
- Ask to be added to your child’s google classroom (or other learning platform) so that you can see and be notified of assignments to ensure that they are being completed.
- Praise your child for their successes! Times are hard and virtual learning is hard!! The more praise and positivity you can give your child, the better!!
- Express your worries and ask for advice. Your child’s teacher will appreciate and see how invested you are in your child’s education. This will also build good rapport between you and the teacher.
- Listen to your child read daily if your child is a struggling reader (and even if they aren’t)! The more you read with your child, the better they will get.
Tips for Students
- Ask for help when you do not understand. You’re teachers are there for this reason. Chances are they will be glad that you ask and will make sure that you understand.
- Participate in live sessions and answer questions when they are asked. This shows you are interested in your learning and paying attention.
- Read carefully directions to daily tasks and pay attention to details.
- Get plenty of rest at night and eat a good breakfast. When you are tired and hungry, you can not listen and understand what’s being taught.
- Make a daily list of assignments and check each one off as you finish.
- Gather all needed supplies and keep them close and accessible.
- Work in a comfortable, well-lit and distraction-free room. No background noises should be present. Keep the televisions off and phones put away. If you wouldn’t be allowed to have it in a regular classroom setting, you shouldn’t have it during your virtual learning day either. Doing this will ensure success when virtual learning.
Tips for Teachers
- Have compassion and empathy for what families are facing with navigating virtual learning within their homes. Putting yourself in your students’ families shoes, will allow you to think from other perspectives. Give grace and understanding.
- Hold your students to high standards. Let them know that just because they are learning from home, you still have rules and expectations that should be followed.
- Tell them you care! Both the students and their parents. We all know that if teachers did not care, they would not be doing what they are doing. Lord knows it’s not a profession one goes into for money! Now more than ever, students and parents need to hear that we care. Let them know you see them, and their efforts to make virtual learning work.
- Reach out to those that are MIA. When you notice one (or five) of your students not completing assignments and/or not showing up to virtual live sessions, reach out and find out why. Offer help and work with those struggling to keep their heads above water. Sometimes having a one-on-one chat with a student and letting them know the expectations, that you believe in them, that they are too smart not to do what they are expected, and that you are there for them ALWAYS can go a long way.
- Be creative and think outside the box! Just because you are not able to be face-to-face with your students, does not mean learning has to be dull. Make it fun! Dedicate one session a week to a fun activity. You might have show and tell, a scavenger hunt, virtual charades, dress-up days, etc. This will give your students something to look forward to.
- Grow in your ability to be tech savvy. Some teachers think technology and cringe because of the unknowns. Technology is your friend…you just have to get to know it better. Take some online tech courses, google, and watch YouTube videos. The possibilities are endless and just think of how impressed your students will be!
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Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear any feed back or ideas of ways you’re making virtual learning a success!