Whether you are teaching from home, at school, or a combination of the two, staying connected to your students, colleagues, and school community is essential for your wellbeing. Here are our tips for remaining connected while you teach virtually!
Connect with Your Students
Because teaching looks different this year, the way we relate and touch base with our students should look different too. Try to make a couple of phone calls a week to let your students know that you are there. Hearing your voice can go a long way to putting your students at ease. For older students, emails are still essential for communicating. Think about personalizing your emails to remind your students that you, specifically, are there for them. Consider recording a short video in place of the traditionally typed email. Remember that students always remember how you made them feel. Make them feel important and cared for even while behind a screen.
Connect with Your Colleagues
Staying in touch with your teaching team is a must! Everyone is going through virtual teaching together. So reach out! Organize a virtual happy hour after school through a video conference so you can connect with other teachers in your building. Another way to stay positive is to celebrate anything and everything. Email your colleagues a funny picture or do a team-building activity like a virtual scavenger hunt. Remember to also check in with your team, just like you do with your students. Send them a “hello, how are you doing?” email to find out how they are doing. We are better together!
Connect with Your School Community
If you write a newsletter to parents, keep that up! You can go beyond the normal classroom communication by celebrating your students' accomplishments and notifying local news. Make sure you get permission before sharing student pictures and get it okayed from your principal first. The best news is positive news! Snap some pictures of student work or a screenshot of your virtual class. You may even want to post your favorite classroom memories on social media about how your school is supporting students in need and families around the community.
No matter how you are teaching this year, your voice matters, and your students, colleagues, and community need to be reminded of the great work you are doing together, so stay connected!