Here you will find the fourth edition of the newsletter! Inside you will find ways to engage students and keep their attention, virtually. Also, tips for those who are new to online learning for teachers, students, and families, and more!
A peek inside. Read a few of the articles below, or download the PDF to see the full newsletter!
Whether your school has already started back up, or you have yet to begin the 2020-2021 school year, there is more than enough stress, drama, frustration, and confusion to go around! A huge part of dealing with change and challenge is to accept that things are not going to be how they were before. In some cases, that can be terrifying, where in other ways, it can be exhilarating! Get ready to practice that positive self-talk we teach our students about! Also, get clear about what the expectations are. From your districts and administration to your teachers and those at the school level. Know what your school is expecting from you, as well as from your students. Make sure these expectations are expressed, and understood. Be honest and be okay with the fact that these may need to change, as you figure out how well they are working.
New Student Orientation
Students and families who are new to virtual learning will definitely need a crash course on the how-tos and what is expected from them moving forward. Being clear and concise about their procedures will help alleviate stress from all parties involved.
Most things in your school's handbook, will cover information that students and families need to know, but you may need to make some additions or changes to make it fit virtually as well.
Some important things to include:
-List of contacts for who to call/email and for what issues.
-Student expectations and consequences- specifics about hours of attendance, participation, grading, plagiarism, harassment...
-How to log-in to view classes and assignments, how to turn in assignments, tips for using computer applications, folders, organizing documents, saving often.
-Video call rules and expectations for when on camera and in the virtual classroom.
-Email etiquette. How to email your counselors/teachers and what to email about.
-Parent expectations confirming student attendance, availability for calls/conferences.
These policies and procedures should be consistent school-wide, so that all members of your school community are on the same page. This will save a lot of frustration by students/parents trying to navigate different rules and policies from different people.
Dedicated From a Distance
As with most things in life, there are things that are a good fit and things that are not. Virtual learning is no exception. There are students who will absolutely thrive in this setting, and struggle in the traditional school setting. What's tough, is that most students who struggle with distance learning, don't have other options but to be online. We have to do our best to identify those struggling students and families and let them know that we are dedicated to supporting them through this. We need to band together with our school leaders and advocate for those who struggle. Find positive, and flexible solutions, so that they can find success. As online learning may not be a good fit for students, it may also not be a good fit for parents, or even for some educators.
Now, we all need to dig deep, reach out, and keep going!