How we have come to know schooling and teaching came at a screeching halt. And while we are finding ways to continue providing education, it is easier said than done. The truth is that 14% of American children between ages six and 17 don’t have internet services at home. That means a huge percentage of your potential students cannot easily access learning platforms at a bat of an eye. And that’s only one part of the problem. The rest has to do with finances, attention, support, and learning environment.
Learn to manage your expectations. Don’t expect your students to finish complicated guitar lessons in a jiffy. The entire world is adjusting to this new norm. Parents suddenly have to be their kids’ instructors. They are working from home while caring for their kids. They also have to guide them with their lessons. All of a sudden, they are homeschooling their kids.
So, now is not the best time to assign intensive tasks and complex concepts. Be patient with yourself and that of your students and their parents. This is not an easy transition for anyone. No school, teacher, student, or family has this figured out.
Choose a Platform
You need five things from the teaching platform: accessibility, equitability, communicative, monitorable, and sustainable. These things will ensure that you will have a seamless discussion with your students on a range of topics. At the same time, they will provide you with the tools you need to monitor their progress in your new virtual classroom.
You don’t need to find a single platform that does all these things, of course. If there exists one platform that provides everything you need in this remote learning setup, then go for it. If not, you can always use a combination of teaching tools.
You need to know what kind of environments your students are learning from. Also, you have to get an idea of the devices and tools available to them. Can they access the platform at all times? Do they have internet access at home? Do they have their own computers or are they sharing with their parents and siblings?
A good way to do this is to use Google Forms via email or social media. Most people can access Google Forms without trouble. You need to post your questionnaire to determine what kinds of remote learning challenges you are facing.
Go Back to Basics
Do you remember when you were in primary or high school? People used to have textbooks, modules, and worksheets back then. You might have to return to these traditional teaching tools for students who have no regular internet access and for those who do not have their own devices.
Some district districts are also requiring teachers to check in with their students daily for attendance. If your students cannot log in, you would have to call or text to check on them. You can set up an alternative number if you don’t want your students to know your personal number.
Parents need to be active participants in the students’ learning environment. You’ll have to include them in the process. Reach out to them. You can even send them a parent support package. This should include a guide on what will be taken up during the semester, a list of strategies that parents can use to facilitate learning at home, and login details to the online teaching platform. You should also provide them your email address in case they need to get in touch with you.
Use Multiple Methods
You must use a mix of text, videos, sounds, and images to keep your students interested. Combining and mixing them will be more engaging for the students. Some of the methods you can check out are live classes, video lectures, set activities, and class blogs.
Although it is tempting to let the students learn on their own, you must hold a once-a-week live class. This will bring them back to the dynamics of a classroom. It will allow students to engage with you and one another.
Always Be Open to Questions
This is uncharted territory for parents, students, and teachers. You need to be more patient and respectful of each other. But though it is a new phase in learning, that does not mean you shouldn’t do your best to guide your students. Be open to any questions they have about this new method. If they are confused, be more understanding. If they are having a hard time learning, offer more help to make the classes easier for them.
The year has drastically changed for everyone. It’s not just in schools that people are trying to find their ways. Whether it’s in business or relationships, a lot of people are finding their footing in this brand-new world society finds itself in.