If you are feeling confused, afraid and anxious, you are not alone. A lot of teachers are feeling what you are feeling right now. With this pandemic still raging on and affecting every facets of society, most specially the profession where you are most familiar with–teaching, it is normal to feel this way. Many of us are also lost and feeling left out. Our once stable and balanced mind is now experiencing cognitive dissonance. You are not alone in this journey to this uncharted place. We just have to walk side-by-side, be the strength to one another and share our resources, even our ideas and talents. We may grope in the dark but stopping is not an option. Think about the many young minds, who need our nourishment. Brain researches say that children’s brain, even adult brain, when left stagnant for long periods of time is detrimental to their psychological well-being. Ergo, learning must not stop. But how to continue?
It is heartbreaking to think that the the things that you are used to doing inside a physical classroom will not happen for a while, such as welcoming your students as they enter your classroom, hugging them and smelling their various fragrance, hearing their lively laughter, reprimanding them when they become unruly inside the classroom and many more heartwarming physical interactions that we enjoy doing with our students and co teachers too. It is all because this pandemic will stay for quite sometime, and until there is no vaccine, we will have to resort to remote teaching.
We have to shift our mindset to online teaching and learning because this is the reality right now. I know it is very difficult to do it, but when you make that very first step, you are welcoming yourself to change, and it feels good. Open up yourself to a whole new world of digital technology, where teaching happens in virtual classroom and learning takes place in cyberspace. At first, the struggle is a real nightmare, believe me, I’ve seen it. Whatever video conferencing platform you are planning to use for your class, be prepared!
Be prepared for possible technical glitches. Be prepared for slow internet connection. Study your platform. Read, read and read! Go to YouTube, and watch YouTube tutorials on how to use your platform. Get a partner teacher and explore the platform together. Navigate the different features and practice using them. Maximize the available features of your platform. When you maximize it, you are also maximizing the learning of your students. Remember, use good computer camera, use headset and provide efficient lighting to your space. And when you are in front of the class, be yourself. Be the teacher that you were before in the four corners of your classroom. Teach without inhibitions. Admit that you are not perfect, you will make mistakes as you go through the course of your online teaching, let that mistake make you better, learn from it! Lastly, involve the parents of your students, whether you like it or not, you need their help. They are the ones who are in control in the other end of the wire. You can only do so much, they have to do what you can’t do. After all, teaching their children is a partnership between teachers and parents.
Welcome to the world of online classes!
Note: I will be sharing online resources for teachers such as worksheets, slides, videos, teaching tips and many more to help you in your online teaching.