If the thought of virtual learning is keeping you up at night, you are not alone. This school year, however, holds the potential to be one of promise and growth. It is all in the attitude. I am not implying that you ignore the stark reality of how profoundly difficult it is for families and teachers to work virtually. What I am offering, are ways to view this situation in a more positive light.
- Do not compare this school year to the end of the last one. It cannot be overstated that March through June 2020 was crisis school. It was not distant school nor was it home school. School districts and teachers had almost no notice and had to pivot their programs in record time. Furthermore, distance education is it’s own discipline that regular classroom teachers may not be familiar with. The good news is that teachers and administrators have had the entire summer to learn best methods of implementing distance education.
- People do not learn well when afraid. COVID is still a threat and there is still much we do not understand about it. However, we have had 6 months to learn how to live with it and, for many of us, it is less terrifying. Our children are not exempt from the fear we all felt. They, like us have adjusted and are in a better position to process information and learn.
- There is no timeline for learning. How well your child does in life has incredibly little to do with earning top grades. Research shows that it is connection and personal relationships that build a successful life. So stop stressing about them staying on grade level and start focusing on making this a good experience for them. Whether they know algebra or not by the end of this year is not as relevant as if they still love learning.
- Distance learning allows more downtime for students to explore their own personal interests or to catch up on family time or sleep. It is no secret that teens and tweens in the United States do not get enough sleep. This can have long-term effects on their emotional and physical well-being.
- Distance learning allows for more autonomy on the part of the student and family. Allowing students more agency in their education will lead to a lifetime of inquiry.