Today I wanted to stop by and share 5 ways to connect with students virtually. Even though we’re wrapping the year up, some of you may find you want to reach out to students over the summer. I hope you’ll also keep this info in your back pocket in case we have to remain socially distant in the upcoming school year.
1. Using whatever platform you’re currently using, send a fun video or photo from your day. It can be the breakfast you had, something funny your pet does, or a book you’re reading. Ask students to reply with something from their day.
2. Share a favorite read-aloud and make it available for students to watch again and again. You can do this by making a private Youtube Channel or Facebook Group. You could also just send it to students through whatever communication you’re using! I like this so much more than one that disappears (like a Live) because they can watch it all summer long. I suggest choosing a book you read together before to really remind them of the special times you had.
3. Send a personal note to students. There’s nothing like getting a note that you know is just for you. I made some adorable templates for you to use if you’d like! Send them through Google or even print them and send them in the mail. They don’t have to be long or fancy. But knowing YOU are thinking about THEM will go such a long way. (If you want to send your own notes, be sure to subscribe and get your FREE copy).
4. Be flexible and understanding. Distance learning is challenging for everyone. It’s hard on teachers, it’s hard on parents and it’s especially hard on students. So many of our students miss their friends and routine and they might act out in challenging and unexpected ways. You may find that students who excelled in your classroom are really struggling. Give them grace as often as possible and be flexible in your expectations. Make room for mistakes. Being understanding and supportive will always build your relationships with students.
5. Continue to correct privately and respectfully. As we navigate distance learning, we will see new behaviors pop up. I have heard some funny stories of kids playing with their pets during Zoom or using a photograph to hold their place and walk away. Just like we correct privately in the classroom, it’s so important we do the same with technology. Instead of calling them out, send them a private message or ask them to stay behind and chat about it later. One private correction won’t build a relationship but a public one might break it down.