By The Learning Network
Twenty-eight middle and high school teachers from The New York Times Teaching Project tell us how they’re navigating remote instruction this fall.
Reach out to families.
1. Start off the year by calling every single parent. As a high school teacher with over 100 students, I know how much time that will take. In these strange times, parents and students are feeling uneasy about returning to school. A personal introduction will go a long way toward rebuilding school and class community. — Kristin Lawlor, the Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx, Bronx, N.Y.
2. I often send welcome postcards to my students before the year starts. This year I am sending postcards to the parents of my students to set the scene for the year. I will thank them for the gift of teaching their child and ask them to email me three things that I should know about their child. — Jodi Ramos, Stevenson Middle School, San Antonio
3. Communicate well and communicate often, but be mindful of your communication practices. Education and school can be overwhelming. Even before the pandemic, parents often reported feeling “talked down” to when speaking with educators. Be mindful of the ways you are now entering families’ lives and homes. — Sabrina Alicea, Cameron Elementary School, Chicago
4. I plan to use Flipgrid before our first synchronous class meeting to invite students to introduce themselves with some simple questions. Students get to get some of their jitters out and start practicing being “on” even before our first day of meeting online or in person. Then they can build community during the first days of school by responding to their classmates with a brief video response. — Christa Forster, the Kinkaid School, Houston