I was suddenly thrown into online teaching last spring, just like every other teacher in America. After 20 years in the classroom, I felt like a brand new teacher! Except as a new teacher, there were master teachers, books, colleagues, and resources to support my endeavors in the classroom. Not so for online teaching! Administrators and teachers were learning and scrambling to make the online classroom work smoothly.
In hindsight, I did my best, but I could have done better! Although most of us won’t be in the actual classroom this fall, we can do even better than we did in the spring. We owe it to our students and their parents to give them the best education possible.
When we go back to school this fall, I want to be more prepared. I’ve spent the last few months researching, contemplating and talking with other teachers about online teaching and learning strategies.
I came up with five tips to share with you! Let me know in the comments below what you think.
Five Classroom Management Tips for Online Teaching:
1.) Give your students and their families a chance to get to know you. Perhaps you could host a get to know the teacher evening! Play games that build community in your online classroom. Maybe make a bitmoji teacher to send home. Give the students a chance to make the online classroom a place of their own. I am new at this and am still collecting ideas! If you have any thoughts, let me know in the comments below.
2.) Explicitly teach your online classroom expectations, just like you would during the first few weeks of regular school. I usually spend the first week of school teaching routines, expectations, and creating a classroom community. Throughout the rest of the year, I am continually reviewing these as my class needs a refresher. Online teaching shouldn’t be any different!
This week, I created Online Learning Expectation Cards for online teaching. I used vibrant drawings of birds and fun facts to reinforce how I want my students to behave! More information about the artist behind my clipart is available here. If you are interested in teaching your students using these cards, you can purchase them here.
3.) Don’t be afraid to try new technology. Sometimes technology can be scary because it’s new or different. Take advantage of all the online resources and trainings that you can find. Find a buddy who you can learn with. Learning and trying new technology is always better with good friends.
4.) Post your daily schedule for your students and their families. I cannot stress this enough! Posting your schedule makes it easy for everyone to know exactly what you are going to do next! This is just as important online as it is in the regular classroom.
5.) Love your students just like you would if they were in your real classroom. Many years ago, I was supposed to have only twenty students in my class. The room was set up for them. I had twenty chairs, desks, and sets of school supplies. My principal walked in late one morning with number twenty-one! I was so frustrated because I had no warning and I only had 20 chairs! I didn’t welcome that precious child or their family warmly. So I made a decision: any child who walks over the threshold of my room is welcome and loved no matter how I feel at the moment! The same ‘rule’ will be true for my online students too!
I hope these five classroom management tips help you as we navigate this crazy year of online teaching!
If you have any thoughts or ideas about online teaching start a conversation in the comments below.
Please follow my blog for more helpful classroom management tips during the month of August. If you are interested in additional products that bring nature into your classroom shop here!
See you next Sunday!