Teaching students during this pandemic is really overwhelming. One could easily say to engage students and make them participative in online learning. Yet, it’s one great difficult task to accomplish amidst great uncertainties.
Everything is new and things are very challenging, especially for both teachers students. Thus, as an effective teacher, you need to equip yourself with the skills you need while teaching through coronavirus.
You certainly want your students to be at their best while making careful adjustments to online learning. The school year 2019-2020 was indeed a big period of adaptation to remote learning when schools shut down due to the global health crisis.
This has had a great impact on all of us. But it’s a way to encourage all people to move as one, to promote social distancing and to stop the spread. But, then again, the whole process is never easy and has affected the teachers, students, and parents to varying degrees. And most essentially, in the whole educational context.
While online classes have become seriously the greatest option for everyone, teachers like you and me need to reconsider and rethink our teaching pedagogies to best accommodate the present critical situation in education. Concisely, we need to redefine our teaching styles and practices to accommodate the realistic trend of the new normal in education.
Surely, we can always do something about the situation we are in. Together, let’s figure out the best ways to keep students interested in learning despite everything. Here are some of the skills and tips that we need to rekindle in ourselves while teaching through Coronavirus.
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Top 7 Skills You Need While Teaching Through Coronavirus
1. Amplify flexibility
While trying to figure out viable solutions to continue education, you should be flexible about the possible changes in the education process from time to time. When things turn out to be very unpredictable you should develop the skill of making adjustments that will always prioritize the education of the child.
Nothing should mean to detriment your passion to teach. Whether your school opts for modular learning, online learning, or any learning modalities, you should be very flexible so your students can also adapt to their new learning environment. Finding the best ways to keep your students engaged and fulfilled, calls for greater responsibility and flexibility. It’s the best way to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Keep updated on the available learning resources
Exhaust all means to give the best education to your students. If this requires you to craft your own learning materials or do in-depth research for learning resources, then do it.
Our current situation is very stressful not only on our part but also on our students. Let’s help them adjust and feel better by providing them the academic and emotional support they need.
I know that education is no exception to the impact of the pandemic but quality education doesn’t stop there, it must continue and the biggest chunk of making it possible lies in our hands as teachers.
The many alternative learning opportunities and modalities we know should be highly supported with accessible learning resources to keep our students confident that they can still be at their best despite the crisis.
In this connection, teachers are given reliable links to learning portals which is an indication that there is always a way to support student learning. School closures should not impede access to quality education as there are limitless useful online and offline learning resources that keep children motivated and engaged.
3. Build a sense of community in online learning
Fostering a sense of community in your virtual classroom will help students remain focused on their tasks. It’s indeed quite a skill of teachers to establish good relationships through distance learning. Quite overwhelming, but a certain push on our end will make things possible and help create extraordinary learning experiences for our students.
When students feel safe, they most likely imagine themselves to be just like in a physical classroom where effective learning takes place. Our behavior management strategies need to be more adaptable to online learning to keep students guided on how they should act and perform in a remote learning experience.
How can we as educators do that? How can we nurture positive learning in a virtual space? By encouraging and inspiring our students to take ownership of their learning through active collaboration with their peers, we are creating multiple opportunities for them to learn best and to connect with one another.
4. Manage stress and anxiety
Despite the overwhelming consequences of the global health crisis both on our lives and in the educational context, as educators, I know that we are most capable of managing stress and anxiety and we can also help our students do so.
A survey in Brazil states that 67% of teachers feel anxious and 38% felt weary about distance learning. And this is a fact that can’t be disregarded. Although studies indicate the high levels of stress in educators, we never run out of possible solutions to reduce stress and to keep productive no matter how overwhelming things can be.
With households turning into learning spaces and parents becoming instant co-facilitators of learning, we can’t deny that the enormous challenges take over our lives, but they should not keep us drained and stressed. Managing stress at this time is of considerable importance.
For quite some time, teachers find ways to reduce stress and fight teacher burnout. But, it’s easier said than done. For this reason, as human beings, we should take notice of the well-being of everyone, especially our students.
As we want to keep things easy and manageable on our end, we should also be doing the same to our learners as they become so vulnerable to stress and anxiety as well. Give them consideration and keep reaching out to increase their concentration and regulate their levels of anxiety.
5. Exhibit a spirit of acceptance
Do you find yourself asking why the pandemic has taken its toll on our lives? Certainly, it affects our emotions but should not affect our effective ways of teaching our students. The better way of looking at the positive perspective of all the negativity here is acceptance.
Teaching comfortably exhibits our willingness to accept the situation we are in. Dwelling on the negative situation yields negative results. We should reconsider the possibilities that the current situation opens doors of extraordinary opportunities for teaching and learning.
Implementing a framework of support for our students by reimagining our pedagogical schemes will also help them fully understand the situation and adjust effectively. Hence, providing them the necessary training they need despite what happens is an elaboration of our support which eventually makes them accept the circumstances without getting frustrated.
6. Promote open communication
Stepping forward to whatever learning modalities are available, we should take time to reach out more often to our students and to their parents. There are online platforms that foster open communication with everyone. One great example is the incredible rise of FB threads.
Our communication adaptations should embody our sincerest will to get in touch with our learners and provide them immediate feedback with regard to their performance.
Group Chats through FB messenger, for example, is an incredible way to reach out to our students and keep their parents posted. This will make parents feel their valuable support in the education of their children.
Establishing open parent-teacher communication is an ongoing challenge but things can be rightly put as they should be with serious efforts and reliable modes of communication. Communicating regularly is the key!
7. Learn to say no
Take a break and say no! Adapting to online learning is a challenge for both students and teachers. Certainly, you should take a break after class and spend time with yourself.
When your cell phone chimes in to insinuate that someone remembers you for a chit-chat, learn to say no if you don’t feel like going. You should try to detach yourself after work and lie down on your fave couch on the porch for a while.
The present situation confronts us with the need to adapt and adjust in order to still achieve competence and excellence in digital and online learning. When working with too much stress or if you are still in the period of adjustments in a virtual classroom, it’s just so right to take a break and recommit for yourself.
Doing so can increase your productivity as it enhances your focus rather than pushing forward even if you’re so exhausted and drained.
On a Final Note
The overwhelming consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic should not discourage us from teaching effectively. Fortunately, teachers are known to be great explorers of the best solutions; hence, responding to challenges is never new.
Our sense of optimism is of great value in making a contribution to teaching and learning in this time of crisis. With effective collaboration at the forefront, we will be able to promote quality education and continue making it more accessible to our students.
Unlocking our effective teaching strategies and creativity will help us keep standing on firm ground in the educational realm. As educators, we should not allow the faded light of disappointments and frustrations to vacillate our commitment and dedication to helping shape the future of our students.
And most importantly, we should cheer for ourselves for not giving up! I’m certainly excited to read your thoughts and best teaching practices in these trying times of the education process. Leave them below!