Since the schools closed, I’ve been reading articles, watching webinars, attending short courses to tackle with the difficulty of remote teaching. As we all were thrown into the big ocean of online teaching in March, we tried to save the day using the knowledge and tools we already had. However, things have changed now. We know what worked, what didn’t, what we can do, what we should avoid so this post is my to do list for the coming term.
- Learn what the students use to attend the class. What technology they have.
- Teach them how to write emails, how to check emails every day
- Introduce your platform.
- Send them regular emails and updates. Try to make them understand that you are a human teacher.
- Tell that the virtual classroom will be a place where they can communicate with you and their peers.
- Remind them that you are a human being and talk about your daily life while giving examples.
- Tell them the virtual classroom is a safe place to learn. They’ll improve when they participate.
- Play music before the lesson, grab a cup of coffee and tell them you will be there 10 minutes before each lesson for a friendly chit chat.
- Introduce the tools you’re going to use carefully. Explain, demonstrate and check if they have understood how they’re going to use them.
- Choose exercises they can relate to.
- Bring real life into the classroom.
- Use different ways to introduce the target language. Use variations of slides, videos songs games images to teach and to engage your students.
- Set class rules from the very beginning. Remind them not to check their phones, Use their cameras, chat box. Ask about their expectations regularly from the very beginning. Get feedback after each session.
- Don’t let only the strong ones dominate the class. Encourage the weak ones to participate as well. You can send them private messages using the chat box or you can use breakout rooms to help the slow ones to catch up while the strong ones are on the task.
- Try to add action to the lesson.
- Begin with a different form of everyday. You can ask checking questions such as ‘’what do you see from your window?’’ ‘’ what vegetables do you have in the fridge?’’ ‘’ what can we cook with them?’’ etc.
- Use mindfulness activities at the beginning or while finishing the sessions.
- Use breakout rooms for Interactive activities.
- Get help, ask your PLN for support.
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