What a teacher can do in the age of uncertainty
School has started. Sort of. Now what?
You may have thought that you knew what to expect when students started to come back to class earlier this month, but COVID-19 has likely yet again disrupted the careful plans you laid in the summer. The landscape is different than it was just a few weeks ago, so here are a few tips for teachers from our digital classroom experts.
First, remember the state of the world and take a deep breath. It’s OK to be concerned right now- we all are. Schools across the world are making and remaking plans on the fly and that causes uncertainty and fear among the teachers and administrators that are responsible for keeping students safe, let alone help them learn something. In the face of such stress, making any decision is difficult.
As the University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans said after making the difficult decision to cancel in-person classes,
There are no easy answers as [we] navigate the pandemic.
We agree. Let us help you handle some of the decision fatigue you may be facing by simplifying your digital learning experience. Here are a few things we recommend:
5 tips for success in the digital classroom
- Utilize all of your devices. Since not every student has the same access, try to make it as easy as possible for students to join virtual rooms, share presentations and recordings, whiteboard, and schedule class hours across all devices and platforms.
- Set up a system that allows your students to collaborate and learn from each other. You may want to split up your class into equal size groups, or allow students to form their own.
- Create a welcome message and post it where all students can see it upon entering the digital classroom. You can post an assignment, an encouraging message, or useful information for your students to access.
- Record lessons for students to watch again later and hammer home the lessons of the day.
- Finally, take a look at our post last month that offered essential strategies to command your digital classroom. The most important takeaway? Remember that the skills that made you a great teacher in the real world will help make you a great teacher in the remote world, too.