Well, another school year is coming to an end. This has been a year of many, many changes! Switching to online learning is one of the bigger ones!
I am very personally familiar with this change. I am a local tutor in Tustin, Ca. ,and I am also a paraeducator/assistant teacher at a local elementary school in Tustin. We were all switched to online teaching after the March shutdown of the schools.
I know what an adjustment this was for parents and students and teachers. We all had to learn new skills and adjust to new lifestyles and more randomity in our households. Very well done to all you parents and brothers and sisters and grandparents and friends and other family who have helped our students through this time. I know that in my family, we all had to work together!
Being as I was a teacher that was working with students online
for the past few months, I would like to pass on some of my experiences and things I found successful in working with students. I think the MOST important thing that I noticed was the effect that talking to the students online in writing or in meetings seem to improve the situation of being at home with a limited amount of interaction from school and teachers.
I personally tried to acknowledge all the students who turned in work and also tried to keep things light and fun when we were in our learning meetings. I would play short, fun games with them online to break up the sort of same old, same old, routine. I would attempt to give them activities that were useful, but also with some fun involved.
I know that you parents and family members who are working with the kids at home, contribute so much to all this change being successful!
My recommendations to you would be to try to keep some kind of a learning schedule each day, whether it is 1 hour or 2 then done, or split up times if the student does better. In between, try to set up some art, or games or even help around the house, to balance the students days as much as possible. I also love to make charts for students and put up stickers for each day's work, including art and chores and exercise time that they accomplish. Maybe give them a reward for the number of points they get in the form of going to the local dollar bins, or collecting points toward a bigger item that they can earn.
Trust me when I say that I am familiar with both sides of this new situation, as I am a teacher online and a grandparent who lives with my 4.5 year old granddaughter. I do implement these things in our daily routines. We do things like short walks, gardening, cleaning, organizing, homework, painting nails, doing dishes, and watching and learning about lizards. With my older granddaughters, I take walks with them, have picnics, and surprise them with small swimming pools, as they both work hard on their studies. One is graduating 8th grade and the other is graduating high school. So proud of all of them.
I would love to chat with any of you about your experiences and successful ideas. I can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope this article is helpful and validates all that all of you do to help our students in this new environment.