Digital learning can be tough for students and for parents. I have five tips here to make it easy for both your students and your parents.
Find a way to keep relationships with your students! Some ways that I have found are…
- I tell my students to send me pictures of what they are doing. Then, I send them pictures back.
- I ask my students to email me or write me a letter on how they are feeling or doing.
- I send my students videos of me reading aloud a story so that they can still feel like they are apart of a classroom.
- I have not done live video conferencing, but I have seen many people use Zoom or Google Meet to meet with their students digitally.
Set expectations of when you will be giving students assignments and when you will be open for communication, etc. I think that digital learning can turn into more work for the teacher because they have to be available 24/7, or at least they feel that way.
For myself, I told my parents I am available to answer emails and questions from the hours of 7 AM-4 PM Monday through Friday. Anything outside those hours I will answer when those hours resume. I recommend parents email me at any time, but I want them to know that I won’t get back to them until we are in that hour frame.
I also told my parents and students that I will be posting assignments every Monday and Wednesday. This was a rule put out by my district, but I can see how amazing it has been to keep it consistent. Parents know and so do I when assignments will come.
One Way of Communication
One thing that I think makes it really hard is when there are several ways to communicate with a teacher. So choose one during the time of digital learning you are in. Either ask your parents and students to email you, remind text you, Dojo, Seesaw, or whatever you use. But ask them to stick to one so you can too. This will be easier for you to reply and easier for them to know where to go.
Keep Assignments Simple
Make assignments that you give out things that students could do on their own. Not all parents are able to help their kids right now. Many are working or stressed out. Try to give assignments on websites or sources that kids have used before. Don’t try to introduce something brand new during this time. It is too much for the kiddos!
Need assignment ideas? Head to this blog post for 5 simple ideas!
Allow Parents/Students to Tell You What They Need
Send out a google form at the end of each week asking parents and students how the week of learning went. Simple questions to ask each week include:
- How did you feel about the workload this week?
- Was there anything that I sent home that was too challenging?
- What would you like to see next week?
- Is there anything I can do to support you during this time?
This time is stressful. You are learning an entirely new way to teach all while living in a time of complete uncertainty. It is not easy and you don’t have to be okay.
But you need to do self-care of some sort. Go on a walk, take a bath, watch a T.V. show you’ve been dying to see, open your devotional, or FaceTime a friend. Do something for you!!
Maybe use this time to learn something new or spend extra time with the people in your home. This too shall pass and at the end of it, you will want to see this time as a positive one, not a wasted one!
I am here for you, my friend. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have anything you need help with or you want to chat about! I’d love to hear from you!