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Distance Learning

Updated: Apr 22, 2020


Now is the time to keep our focus on the mental and emotional welfare of our students rather than set our sights on academic compliance.

It’s important to understand that as an educator you must align yourself with the reality of your students and keep expectations manageable. Students not showing up as consistently as you’d like or completing assignments timely is not a reflection of your practice.

It’s still possible to be culturally responsive and relational with students via distance learning.

“The hallmarks of culturally responsive teaching: building trusting learning relationships, creating opportunities for student-centered discourse and meeting the cognitive needs of communal learners. At the heart of culturally responsive teaching is the idea of being responsive to students’ academic and social emotional needs. With care and planning, any educator teaching online can create a culturally responsive virtual classroom, one that can provide a space where every day, students feel welcomed and valued.” -Dr. Rachael Mahmood (Online Teaching Can Be Culturally Responsive)

Educator Hacks for establishing and maintaining a strong classroom culture online

Students want structure especially right now and you can provide this for them by establishing clear and realistic expectations.

1. Establishing a teacher student relationship online

Professional- Hold yourself to a high moral code when engaging online with students

Caring- creating space for students to express themselves ( creatively, openly)

Clear accountability and expectations- ( starting small by incentivizing consistency)

2. Establishing boundaries

Appropriate online classroom etiquette- ( cyber bullying, muting yourself when you’re not speaking, being focused)

3. Creating community

Think about how you can personalize the online learning space; create opportunities for students to share journal entries, jokes and/or poetry and art

Can you build in time to allow students to express how they are feeling about everything?

Family Hacks for establishing and maintaining a strong learning culture at home

You have been front line warriors and deserve to take moments to acknowledge how far you’ve come from the first week of distance learning.

Remember you don’t have to stick to the school schedule- it’s ok to deviate and do what you feel is best. Because this is the first time this has been done your feedback and engagement with school staff is important and impactful. Raise your voice and ask all the questions.

Create agreements at home with your student that everyone can follow

  • Identify 3-5 feelings both you and your students want to feel while engaging in distance learning

  • Identify 3 feelings you don’t want to feel ( disrespected, ignored etc)

  • Create solutions for when problems arise ( When I/ you feel disrespected we will……)

  • Have all parties sign these agreements and post them up somewhere that is visible for everyone ( cell phone message works too)

Build in moments to take a personal pause ( gratitude sharing, journaling, exercising,)- gratitude rewires the brain. Download the mood meter app to pause and identify emotions with your student.

When you face conflict with your students ( facilitate a restorative conversation) ask

  • What were you thinking?

  • Who is harmed by these actions?

  • How can we work together to repair the harm?

(Roll back the film step by step to unpack how we got let’s work together to create a plan to get you back on track and back to your best self)

*make a huge calendar for the wall with daily tasks and goals and check things off together

*Express gratitude to teachers now that you can empathize with them ( this will strengthen your students relationship with their teachers)

*Self care even if you have to schedule it!

The State of Our Youth Series pt. 1

An Interview with San Jose Unified School Board Member and community Leader Jose Magana

“ What is at the forefront of me and my wifes’ mind is how are we going to take care of our kids, neighbors and families; if they aren’t doing well then we aren’t doing well.”

To listen to the full interview click here


Google classroom code: oxoqbtx

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