Remote Learning and the Difficulties
Remote learning is by no means the ideal situation for any individual. As adults, we are certainly feeling the pressures of COVID-19s environment and there is no doubt that the children are feeling it too. Just like we are missing things, so are they!
Positive Teaching, thought we would take a different angle on this ‘difficulty’ and discuss something that we must find amongst it all. Happiness! Author and Social Science Blogger, Eric Barker, brings our attention to the idea that, happier kids are more likely to be successful and accomplished adults? In his article How to Raise Happy Kids in Time Magazine.
Happiness, an idea that I (Mrs. LD) have always based my teaching practice on. Thanks to a very inspiring Sir Ken Robinson, who has influenced my practice since the beginning of my journey in 2008. He is a british teacher and educational advisor whose ideas are progressive, positive and thoughtful (here’s a link to his learning from home ideas).
Accepting the classrooms of 2020
Ok Ok! So you’re thinking… Get to the point Mrs. LD, how is this helping us with remote learning? The thing is, we need to all accept the new classroom environment. By we, I mean the teachers, children, parents and careers. We need to set up the home environment to reflect the securities and predictability of the classroom which put our children at ease. However, also understand that between your work and theirs, it’s not possible to engage with them for the same amount of hours as a regular school day.
It’s time to do what you can! Think, have you set up a space for them to do their learning? Have you taken the time to explore their learning platform and what content they will be covering? Are you patient with them, the environment and the school. Have you developed a predictable routine for them and for yourself?
In the classroom, most teachers would have set routines and rules that allow for less unpredictability, therefore constant room for success and happiness. Children are taught when to work with the teacher, work independently or work with others. They are taught what learning looks like and the positive and supportive language that would be used. As they are young, they are constantly reminded, because young minds need to be constantly reminded.
So although you are tackling working from home as well as teaching, is it possible to develop a timetable with your child that hashes out when they will work with you, work alone; and potentially use online platforms to work with others. For example, setting up a zoom meeting with some of the other kids, that isn’t necessarily dictated by the school. This will give them social interaction and give you space. Or even organise an online learning project with a friend perhaps?
At Positive Teaching, we understand that this may be easier said than done. So take baby steps, reach out to your teachers and schools. Ask websites, like Positive Teaching, how we can help. And remember… make it a happy environment using structure, predictability, patience, kindness and belief in yourself, your child and the school.
MRS LD’s QUICK TIPS (and recommended articles)
1. Take the time to create the classroom at home.
2. Be patient and kind to yourself and to your child(ren).
3. Be interested in their learning as well as your learning.
4. Have extra projects in their timetable. For Junior Primary students, this may be fruit cutting for recess, or working on a puzzle, or timetabled messy play. For Upper Primary, this may be an independent project about something they are interested in.