Teaching during the lockdown? Keep it simple with a focus on well-being.

Teachers around the world are using #edtech to deliver their lessons to students in lockdown situations. Initial reports are that it is extremely challenging and many teachers are on a steep learning curve. Here is one video that shows what a virtual classroom may looks like.

What I love about good humor is that there is usually a kernel of truth in the joke. While this video is hilariously funny, the truth is that “kids will be kids,” whether they are in a normal or virtual classrooms. If we were to poll teachers, they would report the following challenges to teaching and learning during the COVID crisis:

  1. tardiness and absences
  2. lack of engagement
  3. off-task behavior
  4. inappropriate use of technology
  5. unprepared students
  6. constant interruptions

Not much has changed in student classroom behavior during COVID. Now add a lack of classroom management tools available under normal circumstances (proximity control, detention, time-out, etc.), and the pressure to meet standards and benchmarks or prepare them for exams, you have the potential for this type of on-line classroom disaster.

I think the problem is that this new learning reality is not the same as the pre COVID learning experience. Therefore using old strategies, expectations, and methods may no longer work. Once again it is time to reinvent and rethink education for the current reality. Positive relationships and emotional well-being should be at the core of your decisions about curriculum, teaching, and learning.

The best teachers are some of the most creative and innovative people in the world. They have an extreme growth mindset. They are willing to jump in and try new strategies. They can reflect on what works and what doesn’t. They monitor and adjust, but above all else they keep student’s well-being the priority. This should not stop during remote learning.

As teachers embark on this latest opportunity to grow, or as my old therapist used to call it, an AFOG (Another F*$#ing Opportunity for Growth), here are some useful tips from a well respected teacher with a long time award-winning web presence, Larry Ferlazzo

Larry Ferlazzo is one of those outstanding teachers who integrates well-being into his teaching practice. He recently posted a video on EdWeek to give advice to teachers embarking on teaching in the time of COVID-19. Here are his top 7 tips for remote learning for teachers. These 7 tips not only work for ensuring academic progress, but more importantly for the overall well-being of each child. To see the full video click here.

  1. Stop grading – give lots of feedback
  2. Emphasize Social Emotional Learning
  3. Minimize synchronous meetings
  4. One size does not fit all
  5. Spend time with individual conversations
  6. Keep things simple
  7. Offer grace

Teachers remember, this is a crisis situation and should not be treated the same as a traditional classroom environment. The most important thing you can do for children right now is to provide positive support and emotional stability.

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