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6 Ways to Bring Calm to Distance Learning in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced teachers, students, and parents into distance learning with little notice–here’s how to ease the transition.  This is a huge change, not just for students, but also for their families, the community, and more than 3 million educators. All of this change can bring stress, anxiety, and uncertainty.

1. Be present and available​: Distance learning is a whole new concept for everyone. One way to help is to make yourself available to the kids and parents. This doesn’t mean you’re at their beck and call. However, try these ideas: hold office hours, host group video chats, and meet with students one on one. All we are asking is for you to be there for them.

2. Communicate clearly (and often enough): Good communication is said to be the bridge between confusion and clarity. Decide what form of communication is best for your students and parents. Then use it. There is a balance between how much and how often.

3. Set expectations: Just like in your physical classroom, your online classroom must have expectations. Everyone needs to know and understand the expectations for being a part of the distance learning community. They need to know what is expected while in group calls, when completing work, where to find work, and how to communicate with.

4. Create engaging activities​: Your students are used to being engaged, whether by you, their friends, the assignment, or the birds outside (hopefully not the birds outside, or that’s a totally different conversation). Online learning is no different. Create lessons and activities that make them so engaged they don’t notice the birds outside.

5. Allow for asynchronous learning​: Our kids and parents are very busy. Some kids can work all day, while others can only work in the evening. Some have technology to use, while others do not. Accessibility is a big deal. Help your students and parents understand that they don’t have to be online at every single meeting.

6. Plan your day: This is by far one of the most important strategies. Start your day with a plan in mind. Write it down. Post it up. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you have a plan for your day. Set your physical space up in a way that allows you to work from home. Designate a space that is for teaching, not sleeping. Plan your way to a successful day.

The information for this post was taken from an article by Jill Badalamenti in eSchool News, follow this link for the complete article and more details.