Are you sick of staring at a computer screen? I know I am. I learned recently that I have a two hour threshold for screen time.
Beyond that and I turn into an anxious, uptight, stressed out creature who even ‘hangry’ people avoid.
In short, I am no longer ‘human.’
As dedicated educators it’s tempting to spend all day locked in a room, delivering lessons, grading assignments, and checking in on our students’ learning to ensue we cover our content.
But in reality, we are actually damaging our relationships with students. Rather than act as a partner in their learning journey, we transform into evil authoritarians hell bent on ensuring they don’t fall behind.
Three Ways to Stay ‘Human’ in Virtual Learning
Here are three simple ways to stay ‘human’ and maintain relationships during this difficult time away from kids.
1. Center Class Meetings on Checking In and Building Relationships:
Do you use virtual class meeting time to deliver content? This is probably the least effective use of class meetings. Instead, use them as a time to build character, overcome challenges, and connect with students. Center them on a key character trait. Julia Kortt, the Upper Primary Coordinator for YCIS Shanghai provides a perfect reflection on this idea in this statement:
2. Celebrate Your Students’ Success OFTEN:
Your kids are struggling just as much as you with this time at home. Providing spaces or platforms for them to share and show off their accomplishments will keep them feeling connected. Platforms like SeeSaw and FlipGrid are a start, but if you really want to keep the ‘human’ element, allow them to share this in a public forum with the class. Here is an AMAZING video of a year 1 student demonstrating the concept of ‘balance’ to their class from inside their hotel room! (Thanks Anne Dwyer for sharing)
3. Encourage Your Students to Practice Mindfulness
It’s easy to become tense and anxious when cooped up indoors all day. Scheduling time for mindfulness and meditation will ensure they stay focused, grounded and connected to their emotions. Here’s a fun mindfulness meditation video put together by tech guru, Ryan Krakofsky of Victoria Shanghai Academy that you can use with your students:
How do you keep the ‘human’ in home learning?
I would love to hear some strategies you use to share in the next email blast. In the meantime, if you would like 24 lessons packed with SIMPLE strategies to set up your virtual leaning environment for students, you can login and enroll here —-> Virtual Teaching and Learning Course.
Have a great finish to your week of home learning. Remember to stay human!
Your virtual learning coach,