How to effectively teach from home

How to effectively teach from home

Coronavirus has thrown us into a world of chaos and uncertainty. As a result of growing restrictions schools are having to figure out and adapt to new ways of delivering their pupils education.

We’ve put together some helpful tips you can follow if you find yourself suddenly becoming a virtual teacher.

 

Establish a work space

establish a work space

When working from home it’s important to differentiate home space from work space. This will help create a clear division between your work life and personal life.
Make sure your work space is light, airy and not cluttered. To avoid any unnecessary distractions whilst delivering online classes, keep your background plain and reduce any glares from windows by closing the curtains.
If space is limited don’t worry, you can still change the space around you. For example, having text books, pens, paper and worksheets on hand during work and then putting them away out of site when you finish work.

Plan ahead and test

Technology is vital for remote learning being successful, however using new technology for the first time can be daunting. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the new resources you’ll be using. Speak to other colleagues with their experiences and carry out a trial run to make sure any technical glitches are ironed out.
Decide as soon as possible who will be responsible for what types of IT support, and how they will be reachable by students, families, and staff. Make sure they all know how to reach out for support.
Give teachers, students, and families video and written instructions on how to use your platform so they can answer some of their own questions before reaching out for help.

Structure and schedule

schedule

Your school should provide with a timetable to follow and list of what topics to cover. However, if your school does not provide this then we would strongly recommend you create your own. This will help keep you in routine and help you to plan your work.
Pupils will also benefit from a structured day which has routine similar to how they would have had if they were learning in school.
A structure and schedule will also help draw the line between ‘work time’ and ‘personal time’ giving you a balance of them both. Include time for breaks so that your pupils and yourself have a break as you would in school.

Set expectations

Talk to your pupils and help them understand the new way of learning. Listen to their concerns, questions and reassure them. This will be just as daunting for them as it is for you. Tell them what you are expecting from them including homework, deadlines, time keeping and behaviour. Keep parents fully informed and make sure they are aware your expectations. You’ll need their contribution to make sure this works.

Let go of perfectionism

Virtual teaching is a new challenge for everyone, so try not to overcomplicate the work you are delivering. Don’t worry about the finer details or trying to make your slides all singing and dancing. When teaching online keeping things simple is key. This will help to avoid any technical glitches such as files not loading correctly or applications freezing.
Remember everyone will be using different types of devices i.e. desktop PC, laptops to tablets so it’s important this is taken into account.

Make it fun

make it fun 2 make it fun 2

No matter how old your students are, they will all appreciate from a bit of fun. Plan some time in during the day for quizzes, games and even throw in some meditation, yoga, or just quiet time to help them relax and prepare for what’s next. There are lots of online activities you can access and do a group. It will help them to release energy and prevent them from burning out.

Additional resources

Don’t try to do create everything yourself, use the array of online resources available. There are thousands of free projects, worksheets, educational videos, guides and audio clips you can download. Below are some of the popular online resources.

BBC Teach https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach
BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
Twinkl https://www.twinkl.co.uk/
We Are Teachers https://www.weareteachers.com/
2 simple https://2simple.com/purple-mash/
Classroom secrets https://kids.classroomsecrets.co.uk/
iDEA https://idea.org.uk/about
History Learning Site https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/

Find time for yourself to reflect and re-focus

time to reflect 2 time to reflect 2

Online learning is a new experience for you and your students. Make time for yourself to reflect on how the experience is going for you and for your students—but remember: you’re not expected to be perfect.

Ask yourself questions like:
- Are all the children engaged and focused?
- Are you able to deliver what you set out to do?
- What could I do to make learning more accessible, inclusive, and meaningful?
- How are we, as a class, doing physically, mentally, and emotionally? 

It’s also worth asking colleagues to see how they are getting on with online teaching. Sharing ideas, tips and collaborating together will help to deliver a more effective education.