Teachers are navigating more than a few hiccups with remote learning being at an all time high. Both students and parents alike are nervous and likely fatigued with the current social climate and educational landscape.
Teaching as we know it has come to a screeching halt. Schools across the country are still closing to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but school isn’t over—and students who don’t have reliable internet access at home are facing significant remote learning challenges.
While some schools have robust e-learning programs and can offer students one-to-one devices, 14 percent of American children between ages 6 and 17 don’t have internet service in their homes, according to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
This number is disheartening, and while teachers can’t necessarily make sure each student has wifi, they can plan equitable distance-learning opportunities for each student.
As schools and families navigate this new normal, here are some tips to help parents and kids struggling to adapt and adjust.
- Be as realistic as possible
Both parents and students are likely incredibly agitated these days. Kids are likely incredibly confused as technology can be a bit overwhelming and not user-friendly. Additionally, many parents are juggling working from home and helping to facilitate all things remote-learning from the ground. Setting realistic expectations is key. No school or teacher has this all figured out, and many families are struggling with stresses far greater than schoolwork. Cut everyone a little slack.
2. Frequent check-ins
Communication is vital right now. It’s imperative to stay in the loop now more than ever with both parents and students. You may want to consider using google forms to send out frequent surveys. Surveying your parents will help ensure you have a better understanding of what’s running well, and what may need improvement.
3. Digital learning packets
While teachers may not be handing out homework in person, they are still going to have to homework students–digitally. Spend some extra time putting together your digital homework assignments, and be as clear as possible. Consider over-explaining the assignments and scope of work so that both parents and students are crystal clear.
4. Devices and internet access
No one knows how long the schools will be shut down. As time goes on, more families might seek internet access, and more schools could find ways to provide devices to their families. While this issue doesn’t fall directly on the teacher, it’d be a nice touch to potentially provide families with a comprehensive list of their options and the price point (if any).
It is crucial to provide your students and parents with options. Providing equitable instruction to every student and accommodating students who don’t have internet access means offering options that can be completed with or without the internet. This may take an extra boost of creativity, but it can be done.