When the COVID-19 pandemic hit American shores back in March, schools all over the country closed down and switched to remote learning. This came with plenty of problems, but it was the best way to continue educating our youth despite the current situation. Fast forward to August, and with the pandemic still in full swing many school districts, as well as parents, had to make a difficult decision – how can we best educate our children while keeping them, the teachers, and everyone else involved as safe as possible? Many schools have chosen to begin the 2020-2021 school year with remote or hybrid learning, and while we’ve now been doing this for a few months, it hasn’t necessarily gotten any easier. Here are a few tips to ensure students have an effective remote learning experience.
Since teachers can’t physically be with their students, sometimes lessons aren’t as easy for them to comprehend. That’s why it’s important that teachers keep things as simple as possible while still challenging their students. Directions should be clear and concise, as well as maintaining expectations. For example, don’t use an overabundance of different platforms or learning apps. Try to keep it to 1 platform, whatever it may be that you use, otherwise, both students and parents could easily get confused. It’s also important that you review and reinforce what students have already learned before moving on to new subjects or tasks, as students are less likely to remember and truly comprehend lessons otherwise.
When teaching in person, you occasionally will have students who don’t participate. Participation is important as it shows that students understand what they’re learning. When teaching in a remote capacity, it can be a struggle just getting students to actually log on or complete assignments. In younger students who are newer to school, it can be easy to reinforce participation by praising them when they do show up and get work done, or by pointing out how many students participated in recent activities. This can play on a student’s fear of missing out, making them want to make sure they’re always present when they need to be. These things can help students form a habit of logging on each day and getting their work done.
While teachers may strive to teach their students everything on the curriculum during any given school year, sometimes that just isn’t achievable. With the current state of things, it’s even more difficult to do so. It’s important that you’re realistic with both yourself and your students during this remote learning experience. You’ll, unfortunately, have to pick and choose your battles. Which lessons are most important for your students to grasp? Trying to fit everything in will ultimately end with your students not performing as well, so be sure to focus on what’s important, reinforce that, and then move on.