As the pandemic stretches into the spring and more teachers get vaccinated, many school districts have re-opened while giving students the option of returning to the physical classroom or finishing out the school year remotely. In this environment, teachers will need to juggle teaching some kids in person while teaching others in a virtual classroom.
If you’re wondering how to make the adjustment, consider these “do’s” and “don’ts” from Larry Ferlazzo of Education Week:
- Make your remote students feel like they’re a part of the classroom by giving them the opportunity to partake in the same lessons and activities as your in-person students and the ability to interact in breakout rooms and apps, and by giving them the ability to show they’re engaging, for example, through chat features and hand signals.
- Establish what you expect from both in-person and remote students early on and set up routines for them throughout the day (for example, starting the morning with a question, reviewing the daily schedule, and assigning each student a task, such as being a chat monitor or an attendance taker).
- Talk to your school’s tech support team ahead of time to make sure you have everything you need for your remote students to view and hear what’s happening in class the same way your in-person students do. You can also utilize a second device that will help remote learners and in-person learners see and hear each other.
- Take time when possible to celebrate your students with birthday announcements, student success stories and rewards, and anything else you can think of.
- Engage your students by taking them on virtual trips and to virtual museums.
Don’t expect your classroom to operate the same as it did before, forget to mute and unmute yourself when necessary, try to do more than you’re capable of, expect too much from yourself or your students, or forget to take care of yourself.
IEEE TryEngineering has curated free resources available to support teachers and parents during this unprecedented and challenging time. Search through them today.