Zoe McPherson, School Counsellor,
Anna Wood, Middle Senior School Teacher
The recent Movement Control Order has continued to challenge and change our lives. What this means is that we have to continually learn and adapt to the changing environment around us. This is a series of articles, where the first article was on locus of control and how we respond to change. This second article in the series explains the roles that teachers and parents have to play in dealing with change and some tips for supporting students.
The challenge is to embrace and respond to the rapidly changing environment that we are currently facing in the world today. As teachers and educators, we need to develop ways to engage, connect and develop new systems and strategies that cater to this new online continuing learning environment whilst fostering the needs of every student within the classroom.
As Parents, there is a need to adapt to the new way of living and have your child present in the home 24 hours of the day. Creating a work/life balance becomes a crucial factor in managing and promoting the overall well being of the student/child.
Learning has taken on a new dimension, where the walls of the classroom now extend into every living room across the world. What does this mean for the teachers, parents and most importantly the student?
The role of teachers in the educational context is to facilitate learning. This can mean different things, depending on the learning area, the students and the learning space.
Apart from other duties behind the scenes planning and preparing activities and checking against curriculum requirements to ensure work is differentiated, the role of the teacher during the Continuity of Learning period can be broken down into a number of areas for facilitation of classes.
- Break tasks into chunks.
- Provide interactive activities that involve screen free time.
- Provide robust learning.
- Give clear expectations for online participation.
- Give specific instructions.
- Set reasonable expectations.
- Keep instructional videos short.
- Provide frequent feedback through online knowledge checks, comments on collaborative documents and chat to keep students motivated and moving forward.
- Design and implement independent learning.
- Allow student choice.
- Access and address the emotional toll of the change to learning.
Parents can support their children by considering the following ideas and implementing the ones that suit their situation:
- Provide routines.
- Provide a well-resourced place and the time to complete work at home.
- Check that you have subscribed to Google Summaries (Middle and Senior Schools).
- Check Seesaw frequently (Junior School).
- Re-evaluate external tuition commitments.
- Re-evaluate extracurricular commitments when school recommences.
- Provide nutritious food during the school day to prevent grazing.
- Set and enforce digital limits.
- Eat some meals together.
- Plan and undertake activities together.
In the next article in the series, ideas for consideration at home and for the self during the MCO will be shared.