Remote learning is so much more than just the curriculum. Try to consider how abnormal the students’ lives are now and take their wellbeing into account. Try setting assignments that allow students a break from their screens and an opportunity to reflect.
With new techniques come new expectations. Make sure you are familiar with all the various policies that the school would have implemented for remote learning. They are there to protect the students as well as yourself so make sure you know what is expected of all parties involved.
Every school has preferred platforms and channels for communicating with parents. Make sure to only use those methods that have been approved and try to avoid overloading parents with notices unnecessarily… but make sure to keep them informed!
Students already struggle with concentrating in school, but their attention spans tend to shorten using online devices. Try to make lessons shorter and more to the point and build in screen-free breaks. It’s good for you and the students.
Treat online lessons the same way you would a physical classroom. This includes being mindful of your attire, the positioning of your camera and your environment. Avoid personal information showing on screen and keep your background plain or subject appropriate.
In the same way you consider your privacy online, teach your students to protect and value their own as well. Be sure to have permission from parents before you share photos of their children online.
Online teaching requires you to use certain programs. Learn the ins and outs of the program so you know how to best utilise the tools available to foster education in a safe and secure way. There’s no need to use every feature, but some may really help to make lessons more engaging!
Having a structure for formal and interactive teaching will not only help you to be organised but helps the students and the parents figure out their days as well. In some households, a device may be shared between students doing school and parents trying to work so be respectful with your timing.
When asking students to use a platform or application, make sure you have checked the Terms and Conditions to ensure that the personal information of each student will be protected.
Use quick and casual methods to check that your students are understanding. Explore different methods of asking them to demonstrate their understanding.
As you can no longer casually chat to students in the hallways, be sure to create a space where you can catch up with them and connect. Ask the students and parents for feedback on your techniques or platforms to see where methods may need to be improved.
Help students to understand the possible dangers of being online and how to be a responsible part of the cyber community. Teach them how to set up passwords, use social media wisely and encourage them to talk to a trusted adult if they see anything online that disturbs them.
These are strange and challenging times for everyone but it must be so hard to be a child in the current climate. Encourage students to get some exercise, rest and limit screen time. Try to remember that normal life goes on, so celebrate birthdays and special events in any way you can.
Try to see remote learning as an opportunity to change the way lessons are run and to make things fun and engaging! Rather than simply showing up for class, students could learn to interact with the lessons and others for a better online learning experience.
Be kind to yourself and the students. You didn’t plan on remote learning when you became a teacher and the curriculum wasn’t designed for this. Rather than trying to squeeze it all in, choose the key concepts and make sure your students understand the most important elements. Find ways to take care of yourself and to find a good work- life balance
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