While many were glad to see 2020 fading in the rearview mirror, so far 2021 hasn’t offered us the chance to move on from COVID and its accompanying challenges. Due to surging cases this winter many schools have closed, putting the pressure on parents to build engaging learning environments at home.
Parents are ready to rise to the challenge, but they need support to continue to meet the educational needs of their children. Let’s take a look at how teachers, institutions and all educators can build a support network, ensuring that no child gets left behind.
1) Preparation Is Key
If 2020 taught us anything it’s that coaches need to be adaptable to rapidly changing circumstances. Gone are the days when last year’s lesson plan could be pulled out of a drawer and put to use. In 2021, schools and teachers need to prepare for the switch to online learning.
You can make things easier for yourself by producing curriculums that work with both physical and distanced learning scenarios. Having a plan in place for if and when school closures become necessary again can help give parents clarity about how they can facilitate these curriculums in home environments. Nobody likes being caught out, and when it comes to their children’s education, parents often feel considerable anxiety if they don’t have a plan. Prepare transitional materials and make these available to other parents in advance of dramatic changes.
2) Build A Communication Infrastructure
Parents are thoroughly invested in their children’s educational well-being but they are not trained teachers. That means they’ll require your support throughout the process. Building an infrastructure that gives them access to that support is an essential component of protecting children throughout locked-down days.
This can begin with a communications audit where you assess the suitability for your current systems of communication. You’ll need to tailor this with the most vulnerable families in mind, ensuring that the whole community can reach out if they need to. It’s important to personalize this process as much as possible to build strong connections between educational institutions and the families taking on the pedagogic role.
3) Follow The Evidence On Remote Learning
“Teachers who have spent their careers building classroom skills might be less prepared for the challenges of distance learning than they expect,” says Julie Narvaez, a writer at 1 Day 2 Write and Origin Writings. “Institutions need to provide all educators with up to date best practices to enable them to support parents in home learning.” Recent studies have demonstrated that teaching quality is more important than how lessons are delivered, so the focus should be on building a structure that allows for dialogue and feedback.
4) Build A Framework For Submission Of Work
It’s vital that educators are still engaged with appraisal and marking of pupil’s work as parents will never be best placed to make assessments. If you work with an institution, you need to build a framework for parents to submit their children’s work, and for feedback to be given both to parents and pupils from teachers. For the majority of families this will entail a digital channel, but innovative solutions may need to be found for homes without an internet connection. Active consideration of how to communicate on the phone will be necessary in certain situations and a framework of consistent calls will need to be built with all the relevant boundaries.
5) Build Specific Avenues Of Support For Disadvantaged Children
“A one size fits all model rarely works in the classroom, but with homeschooling the gap between children’s attainment will widen,” says Edward Wright, a journalist at Write My X and Britstudent. “Institutions and educators need to build specific pathways for disadvantaged children to access support, whether that’s a socioeconomic background with a lack of access to technology, or a language barrier faced by children from immigrant backgrounds.” Linking teaching assistants with these disadvantaged pupils will provide an additional layer of support.
In these challenging times, our children’s futures hang in the balance. Parents are facing a struggle to provide the best educational environment for their children and it’s up to schools teachers, and all educators to support them. Through preparation, communication and evidenced-based practices you can ensure that your children continue to receive the best quality education, no matter where.
Regina Wheeler is a writer and consultant at PhdKingdom.com and Nextcoursework.com. She has been active in teaching circles for two decades, pursuing progressive pedagogy that engages with young people on their terms. If you want to read more of her work, you can find it on Essay Writing Services.