Saturday, April 25, 2020

5 Tips for Supporting Caregivers During Remote Learning

I’ve always considered my students’ parents as my best allies and teammates when teaching my students. Now that we are teaching remotely, that’s more true than ever.

Our students have a new learning environment and different support than they are used to. There are new expectations for both students and their parents.

Suddenly caregivers have been given the role of co-teacher, tutor, and interventionist. I can understand how overwhelming that must feel, especially because families have so many other factors to consider including work schedules or the recent loss of employment, device availability, English proficiency, and the trauma we are all experiencing through this pandemic.

What can we do to support our students’ caregivers during this tough time?

Encourage Caregivers 

I’m sure many parents are feeling frustrated and unsure of how to support their children when learning at home. A quick post or email telling parents you appreciate all they are doing can go a long way in encouraging parents.

Give Grace

This isn’t the time to crack down on due dates and essay length. Everyone is trying to navigate this new situation and we should give grace, both to parents and to ourselves. When there is a situation, start with, “How are you doing?” or “What can I do to make learning at home better for you?” I have found these questions helps to remind parents that I’m part of their team and I care more about my students and their families than on-time assignments.

Share Resources  

Providing teaching videos for students is critical right now. We can also support parents by providing a resource now and then just for them. Why not make or share a video with a few tips for reading comprehension or a refresher for long division? This can help to build confidence for parents and also make their life just a little easier as they support learning from home. 

Consider Time

Consider the amount of caregiver support required for lessons you create and be kind. Parents may be helping multiple children learn at home, and we all know how challenging that can be.

Consider Resources

Consider the amount of screen-time needed to complete lessons. Many families are sharing devices for multiple children and parents working from home. When possible, provide work for your students that they can complete offline.

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