No one was prepared for the school shutdowns that happened in the Spring of 2020. Remote learning became the new normal and many teachers and students struggled to finish the semester. However, by the start of the new 2020-2021 school year, most educators and families were getting into the groove of learning from home.
Just because the way they learn has changed for this educational year, kids don’t necessarily have to fall behind. Whether they are doing remote classes, in-person learning, or a combination of both, there are ways for both teachers and parents to make sure kids’ educations don’t suffer.
Resources for Instructors
Teachers have always been heroes in the classroom. Their classrooms may have changed, but that won’t stop educators from continuing to do an amazing job cultivating young minds. Some districts have implemented the i-Ready test program which is aimed at helping all students learn at their levels with targeted instruction. This program identifies how each child performs in reading or math and helps the teacher identify and provide extra attention and instruction according to student needs..
Faculty and support staff can also access free development resources to help with behavioral health strategies and social-emotional learning during this school year. Using these kinds of resources helps both staff and students prepare to return to the classroom. There are also many online options available to augment online instruction and keep kids engaged even if they’re not in the building, including free online educational games for all grade levels. In addition to standard coursework, teachers can expose kids to a wide variety of topics from free resources on subjects ranging from math and science to computer coding and the arts.
Help for Students
School districts are a great primary resource for assisting in this new learning process. Classroom leaders can help adolescents and teenagers through any content areas they struggle with and allow them to have great success in their strengths based on their i-Ready levels. However, it’s not just teachers who have to prepare for success in a virtual classroom.
Parents and families must also give students as many tools as possible to help them achieve all they can. Adults and other family members in the house can help prepare kids for learning from home, or a hybrid of in-school and at-home learning, by ensuring that students have a designated workspace to minimize distractions and plenty of time to review their work. By keeping everyone on a schedule that works with school lesson plans, moms and dads help ensure homework and assignments are turned in on time. These routines are especially important in families that have multiple children in school, and houses where parents are working from home at the same time the kids are in online class.
For households with siblings on staggered schedules, making sure that there is ample quiet time while someone is in class is important. Set up rules for those who aren’t in class to ensure they don’t have their music or TV on so loud that it distracts their sibling who is in class. Also, make sure that everyone has plenty of space to spread out their books and papers far away from other people’s food or art projects.
While distance learning is sometimes difficult, there is no need to have anyone fall behind. This situation won’t last forever, but while it is the routine, we just need to work together. When teachers, parents, and students agree to respect each other’s time and needs, there can still be great success in school.