We’ve made it through the first two days of one-hundred percent distance learning, and it’s definitely a very different “kettle of fish” than the emergency remote teaching of the spring.
Here are three of many takeaways so far:
The necessity of organizing individual meetings with students to develop relationships (see “INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS” ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF A SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION & THEY CAN BE THE SAME IN A DISTANCE LEARNING CLASSROOM)
In any conversations with students about rules and procedures, the importance of remembering – and communicating to students – that we teachers realize, as my friend and co-author Katie Hull mentioned to me, that “it is not about us.” I can ask students to keep their cameras on because it makes it me feel better to teach to faces instead of black boxes but, really, in this situation, students need to do what they feel like they need to do. And by communicating to students in the context of my requests that I realized it’s not about me, many students are more likely to want to help me out than if I tried to dictate an order that I couldn’t enforce, anyway.
It’s critical to create the conditions where students feel a sense of belonging (see THE BEST RESOURCES FOR LEARNING HOW TO PROMOTE A SENSE OF “BELONGING” AT SCHOOL). I can’t say it any better than Bill Ferriter said it in this tweet:
Pro tip: Make sure every student feels noticed in your live lessons. Say hello using their name when they enter. Acknowledge them by name when they post in the chat box. Say goodbye when they leave. Kids who feel noticed also feel like they belong — and belonging matters.
— Bill Ferriter (@plugusin) August 31, 2020
What are your early takeaways from virtual teaching and learning?
I’m adding this post to HERE ARE DETAILED – & TENTATIVE – DISTANCE LEARNING PLANS FOR ALL MY FALL CLASSES.