[This is part of a series of emails about how the Pandemic has impacted and influenced K12 education]
Starting from easiest to implement on to somewhat challenging to adopt, I offer three categories of advice for Teachers dealing with K12 students.
Software and Settings:
There are three predominant options: Zoom, Teams and Meet. Honestly, not much to choose between one or the other. What matters is two settings that create a massive difference. Train and encourage usage of these in EVERY single class:
- Background blur
- Noise cancelation
Prefer usage of following hardware:
- A laptop
- A digital graphic tablet
- A good web camera
Do NOT try to take a classroom session and convert it into an online class without any thought. This is an entirely separate medium and needs an entirely different approach.
- Ditch the blackboard or smartboard. It doesn’t work online. Use screen writing and whiteboards
- Be more visually enthusiastic than in a classroom session.
- Exaggerated voice modulation is mandatory. Monotonous teachers get tuned out in the all the distractions at home.
- Let children speak – to you and to each other. Create opportunities for this to happen with a variety of activities above and beyond “teaching”.
- Appreciate and recognize students by their name frequently. Successful YouTubers vouch by it. A “shoutout” (taking someone’s name to praise) keeps everyo glued to your session.
- Be funny. Crack jokes. Use colloquial references and memes. Kids love it and in turn they’ll love you for making the effort.
- Dedicate 5 mins at the beginning and end of each class for some fun activity that the kids look forward to – like a quiz or word search.
There’s a lot more, but this should be a good beginning.
A teacher’s role has always been important. But, today more than ever, it has become paramount. You can ignite the love of learning in a world that is struggling with pain and suffering. But before you do that, you have to reinvent yourself a bit.
I wish all the teachers all the luck and support on this journey.
If you know any school who needs my help to take a session for its teachers, please reach out to me. It’s always going to be a free service.
Helping you help the kids,