As more and more schools close down due to coronavirus worries and try to make the transition to remote learning, it’s easy to get stressed out about how to deliver educational content to your learners.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that it’s never going to be possible to completely replicate how you would teach in the classroom. As an educator you need to accept — and embrace that.
Like you probably tell your learners to do when facing a challenge, it’s important for educators to look at this as an opportunity rather than a setback.
Hidden in the stress and uncertainty is a great opportunity to expand the minds of those you’re charged with educating.
Since each district and state is issuing unique requirements and advice to educators, it’s important to review what your state and administrators are saying about what type of content you should be delivering.
Some states and districts have recognized that it will be challenging to introduce new curriculum via electronic learning and even have gone to the extent of saying moving forward with curriculum isn’t going to be realistic.
Because of this, some officials are suggesting educators should be more focused on engaging students with content that expands on the curriculum — rather than trying to perfectly replicate the in classroom experience or attempt to deliver new content to learners.
While you should obviously take direction from your district administration or state education officials, it’s worth considering taking a broader approach to the activities you deliver.
Instead of focusing on traditional lessons that introduce new content, use the opportunity to enrich what your students have already learned. Think of it as an opportunity to add depth — not breadth — to your learners’ educational experience:
- Encourage students to think about what you’ve learned in class from a different angle or perspective.
- Focus on people, places or things that relate to the topics you’re studying in school and let students dive deeper into specific facets.
- Look for ways to make real world connections to content you’ve taught or what’s going on in the world now.
Along with this, think creatively about how you can use the myriad of digital education tools out there to facilitate interactive experiences in the virtual sense.
This period of e-learning can also be a great opportunity to review or reteach topics or work on fluency activities.
It’s also worth noting that some states have advised educators to not grade assignments during this period. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t provide feedback to students.
In addition, educators should lean on each other and use existing resources as well.
Most educational tools feature content libraries that you can pull content from and either use as is or modify to suit your needs.
Also work together as a grade level, team or school to divide up work and share material created for lessons.
Finally, you should allow yourself breathing room to try new things and make mistakes. We’re living in unprecedented times and everyone is going to learn to make adjustments and learn as they go.
Finally, be sure to keep in mind that students will likely quickly start craving contact with you and their classmates — after all, that’s what they are used to. This is going to be a key part of your learners’ emotional and social needs over the coming weeks and anything you can do to let students share ideas with you and each other or hear from you (virtually, of course) can go a long way.