Teachers learn how to connect to students in new ways during stay-at-home

Rebecca Crockett
April 28, 2020 - 10:05 am
An image of an empty elementary school classroom

Getty / DGLimages

Kansas City, MO -  Going online during the pandemic has presented challenges for both teachers and students.

Highland Elementary teacher Megan Hawkins says says it was a difficult transition at first, going from the typical face-to-face classroom to a digital video interface, but after several weeks of her school being closed and her kids at home, Hawkins says she’s figuring out better ways to connect with her students.

“Reading stories and doing lessons, just online, that I can push out through an app called Seesaw, it’s like a journal for them as well. So, they can respond to things I post. I can push out activities for them to do that they can submit back in," says Hawkins.

In an effort to better connect with her students, she sent a “flat Stanley” version of herself to each student's home and asked them to post pictures of their daily activities through the website. 

“I’ve gotten them more engaged that way too. They’re more apt to post pictures now on their online journals. It’s just a way that they’ve been like, Oh, okay, we’re still doing this, this is still something fun we can do.” 

Hawkins says the biggest challenge for her is not having students in front of her.

“I’ve had to sit back and wonder if I’m doing enough or if I’m doing too much. Just truly not having them right in front of me to see if they’re grasping these concepts, and kind of learning to let go.” 

She says as difficult as it is on teachers, she believes it’s more difficult for students, and teachers need to offer grace over grades.

 

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