Options Abound For Online Learning:
We’ve started learning how to do yoga, connect with our coworkers and enjoy live concerts in a different these days. Everything about our daily lives is either limited to ourselves at home or has moved online. If we must connect with others, we are doing so without in-person contact, and from the comfort of our homes.
Teachers, those of us who work to mentor and teach children for a living, have had to set up virtual classrooms overnight. First came the learning curve of understanding our technology and the tools at our disposal. Now, its the struggle to engage students long enough to have their attention and commitment to online learning.
Parents Have Mixed Feelings:
Talk to any parent who’s watching digital learning unfold itself online and they seem to be split on how well teachers are doing.
“Teachers are trying their best with what they have. They’re not as friendly as they should be. They don’t seem to have high standards. They seem to have very high standards, poor kids, leave them alone! The content doesn’t seem to be engaging, my kids don’t even want to join the class. The fees of the class doesn’t justify the value of the content being delivered.”
The list of pros and cons goes on and on.
The Fundamentals of Learning:
But, here’s the core at this question. Whether, its online or offline, for educators, the task of teaching and mentoring our children with cognitive and life skills has always had its roots in understanding our mutual humanity.
Here are a few fundamentals that don’t change.
- Teacher must be prepared and be ready to address any learning barriers children might have.
- The importance of connecting their current learning and its relevance to the real world applications.
- The presence of deep connections between children, their parents and their educators.
- Children having someone who holds them accountable for their learning and their potential.
- Children having a channel to provide feedback and feel supported in their peer group to navigate problems.
How We Learn:
This is how our brain decides what it has learnt with the help of two things:
- By making sense of what we’re working on.
- And by finding meaning in what we’re doing.
So, let’s encourage our students to learn and grow every day. Let’s help them understand the importance of how we must spend our time intentionally. When we do that, children begin to ask themselves how better they can use their time during the day. When we show them the relevance of their learning, they understand the why of what they’re doing. Because with a “Why”, we can almost always endure a “What”! Isn’t that true?
Here’s the bottom line. We must encourage our children to see power in creation and not in consumption. Creativity and Growth are great tools for personal satisfaction and thereby, overall happiness.
A Note On Human Potential:
Early from childhood, our live and our circumstances determine our inherent human potential. For us to become productive and contributing members of society, there are three key factors that should work in our favor.
Belong: As human beings, our primary need is to know that we matter. Once we experience the feeling of belonging, we try harder to reach the expectations set by caring adults in our life.
Believe: As human beings, we need to be made aware of our unlimited potential to do great things. When we understand that, we are not afraid of challenges on the road to our goals.
Become: As a result of belonging and believing in ourselves, we begin to strive to become what we aspire to be!
And that’s what we can inculcate in our children.
How to Create a Student Centered Classroom:
Here’s how educators can make sure their classroom is a student centered one.
- Make your class a student centered one. One where the student talks and asks more.
- Allow for engagement and creativity.
- Allow for failure.
- Forge a solid relationship.
- Building self-efficacy.
- Ensure student sees a connection between what they’re learning and the real world application of that.
Establishing Human Connection:
In the end, we must remember that we’re not teaching robots, but humans who’ve a heart. We can use language that encourages and inspires positive action. We can encourage them to take ownership of their own learning and personal growth.
And, if you’re anything like us, you want to make a positive difference in the life of children. And to give those under our guidance, the tools and skills for reaching their highest human potential. Teachers, for your time and your efforts, the world is grateful. Thank you.