The school year is in full swing and depending on how your area has been affected by the ongoing pandemic, that ‘swing’ may feel more like a roller coaster ride! With possible adjustments in learning environments from in-class to remote instruction, teachers should be prepared. This includes classroom management procedures and routines that should be easy to implement and follow. Managing a classroom virtually has its challenges such as lack of teacher’s physical presence for monitoring engagement, and limited view of facial expressions and body language to communicate thoughts and feelings but it is not impossible. At this point in the year, routines have been established to navigate the learning day. How can these procedures be adapted to remote instruction? Review the chart below.
It looks like we’re closing out the year in a new “normal” of face masks, constant handwashing, and social distancing guidelines. Of course, this has impacted many areas of life including education. Our teachers are juggling with maintaining health and safety guidelines while providing quality instruction, regardless of the learning environment. To say that this can be a little stressful is an understatement, yet teachers are making every effort to keep their students engaged and motivated to try despite this challenging time. What does this entail? That teachers express enthusiasm and positivity to encourage their students, especially when they see them anxious or worried. This can take a toll on teachers.
Topics: teacher tips
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams
As many of us have experienced, heard from friends, or seen on the news, distance teaching has its challenges. Difficulties have ranged from tech glitches and connection issues to students not showing up to live virtual lessons. In addition to these challenges, teachers are making every effort to tailor instruction for students with special learning needs, including regular review of students’ individual learning plans. This can be quite overwhelming for everyone involved, especially the parents at home trying to balance home responsibilities with their child’s specialised needs. How can all involved work together to support the child? Here are some recommendations to consider:
When I was in the primary school, our teacher came back from a trip to Europe with the idea that our class was going to have pen pals in England. She had met a teacher from there and they talked about having their classes learn to write letters while making new friends from one another’s country. Here I was a kid from Southern California (in my mind, not a very big deal) and I was going to have a pen pal from ENGLAND! I was so excited when I got the first letter from my pen pal, Tanya. She actually sent a picture of herself — she had long red hair, freckles, and blue eyes; so different from what I and most of my friends looked like. For the life of me, I can’t remember what was written in the letter just the thrill of receiving one from another young person who lived in a different country! Our class wrote back but unfortunately after the one exchange of letters from each side, we didn’t receive more letters. It was a great idea with so much potential but just fizzled out. Clearly, something went amiss in my experience. This isn’t the case for many educators who have endeavored to introduce their students to different cultures, experiences, and values while integrating important learning skills through letter writing.
The first Earth satellite, Sputnik 1. Neil Armstrong and landing on the moon. The International Space Station. Pictures of ice from the Mars rovers. These are the different things that come to my mind when thinking of space exploration and education. These are topics that have probably been discussed, researched, and studied in classrooms everywhere. But how often is space exploration a part of student learning?
You’ve probably scrolled through quite a few social media posts of teachers and students engaging in remote learning. There are posts with teachers dressed up in costumes, really working to get their students engaged. There are posts of students in pyjamas, bodies contorted in different ways as they try to make it through a virtual lesson. Overall, a nice mix of the positive and negative experiences with remote learning. Although it seems that more schools and educators are prepared, it brings up another concern — remote teaching burnout. With remote learning a reality for many, it is important to recognise the warning signs of burnout for teachers and move towards its prevention. But first, what is burnout?
Coming into this new school year has been a mixed bag of emotions for everyone: anxiety, excitement, worry, relief. Although many schools are starting the year in-class, the possibility of switching to distance learning can add stress and uncertainty to the list especially for those juggling more than one child in school, work responsibilities, and maintaining some semblance of balance at home. There are quite a few news and social media posts of children trying hard to be excited about learning online but struggling. Understandably, this leads to concerns of substantial learning loss for our students.
I take lots of notes. Notes for projects at work. Notes when I take a training. Notes when I’m in a meeting. Notes for things I need to do at home. So many notes! But I have discovered in my many, many years of taking notes that if I don’t immediately go back and review them, highlighting what I seriously need to do and/or remember, those notes are just words on a page stored in a notebook (of more pages of notes).