Helping Students Continue Their Success at Home

Before attempting to lay out a few tips with regards to at-home education behind a screen with/without adult supervision, technical difficulties included, I should offer a word of encouragement. While school is officially in full gear, it is likely more difficult now than in previous years to aid students wherever they may be, and boy, homework sure has made an extraordinary comeback due to shelter-in-place orders and subsequent gathering restrictions. Of course, parents/guardians are home as well, so it may seem that the gap normally filled by teachers should be covered by mom or dad; however, they’re hard at work too, managing various careers.

I’m not sure of your specific situation, but I began this blog post in December, the last month of what was a very challenging year, and the elementary school I’ve been working with had just switched back to online learning, full-time, with a tentative return date to our hybrid format. 

When will we experience any iota of normalcy again?

What one would like to hear is “soon”. What the reality turns out to be will probably not satisfy all parties, so here are some ideas in the meantime that will enable students to be successful by their teacher’s example—a line of advice that believes proper modeling, among other things, can really win the child over. Again let us take heart in the stability our education should bring us! 

Welcome change, especially adversity 

More often than not, trials are given to us for certain aspects of our lives that require improvement. If we as teachers take a ready stance of humility that is also eager to see the knots straightened out in ourselves, then students will indeed be blessed and likewise relax their obstinacies.

Children are teachers 

One of the students in my class recently showed me how I can annotate on someone else’s whiteboard while screen sharing in Zoom. What at first raised a few eyebrows in the middle of a lesson because the online writing tool had begun moving of its own accord (or so it seemed), later assisted me in a breakout room where the student, oddly enough, could only share his screen. 

Zoom out 

We live in a world with more than just two dimensions! Computers organize, synthesize, synchronize, but when did we allow them to monopolize our precious time? Watch student engagement soar as they are given more opportunities to reactivate their senses with assignments less dependent on electronics.

 

Finally, take care of yourself this season, enjoying your family and friends along with their tender affections that erase all anxiety surrounding germs or economic predictions. Remember that society is kept strong through socializing and no threat of misfortune should have us afraid to live! I hope you found something useful in this post that will continue to support your teaching career. Thanks for taking the time.

 

Author: Andrew Foraker, Paraprofessional

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