Connect with Students (In More Ways Than Video Calls) During Remote Learning
Fostering relationships with students is a foundational part of education that helps teachers build trust, create open communication, and develop a deeper understanding of individual students’ lives and learning styles. When COVID-19 forced mandatory school shutdowns, these valuable in-person connections between teachers and students were derailed.
Luckily, teachers are a creative bunch, and many have used the technology at their fingertips to help bridge the gap. For Lexia educator Ashley Perkey, a Georgia-based middle school reading teacher, technology became the cornerstone of maintaining connections with her sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students during the period of remote learning necessitated by the pandemic. Thanks to technology, Ashley was able to cultivate and maintain the critically important remote connections required to support her students' individual academic success.
Here are several insights Ashley shared about connecting with students during remote learning:
1. Communication with parents is paramount. When Ashley moved to remote teaching, she disseminated assignments for students to complete on a digital platform. Unfortunately, many of her students fell off the radar and stopped signing on to digital learning tools. Ashley learned that communicating with parents is the first and easiest way to greatly improve the likelihood of student connection and participation, as helping her students progress academically during distance learning proved to be a significant challenge without the direct support of their parents.
2. Student engagement + creativity = a winning formula. Keeping the attention of students when you can't be in the same room may be tricky, but it's by no means impossible. Ashley got creative and came up with a recipe reading exercise that required student participation while she actively cooked a meal.
3.Reading is fundamental (and digital platforms are essential). For a reading teacher like Ashley, using Lexia® PowerUp Literacy® has been key to teaching diverse student populations remotely. PowerUp's robust assortment of offline activities and lessons means students without at-home internet access or electronic devices do not get left behind.
Although the remainder of the school year will likely be filled with uncertainty, finding ways to connect with students can help facilitate successful remote teaching and learning. For more ideas on how to connect with students during remote learning, read Ashley’s SmartBrief article.