Giving Compass' Take:

• Shira Hammerman, Joey Eisman, and Samantha Star offer suggestions to ease remote learning's emotional challenges for students, parents, and teachers.

• Which kids in your area are likely to be more heavily by the coronavirus? What can you do to reduce remote learning's emotional challenges?

• Find resources for aliviating coronavirus hardships.

Like many other educators, we could not imagine the seismic shift that would require schools to rethink every aspect of their practice. Alongside a quick transition to remote learning came an onset of fear, uncertainty, and cultural transformation. We know that the methods once used to do so need to be adapted, at least temporarily, for a new reality. We suggest adaptations for online learning that acknowledge and correct for emotional challenges, decreased motivation, and social isolation.

1. Support Your Teachers (and Parents) First

Like other essential workers, teachers must attend to intensive professional demands while balancing the heightened personal and family needs created by the current situation. Additionally, they are expected to create, innovate, and adapt curricular material without sufficient planning time or training.

2. Develop Language That is Specific and Shared

Encourage students to voice their emotions during class sessions. Individuals without the words to describe nuanced feelings can become overburdened by the weight of their emotions and remain unprepared when emotional conflicts arise. Group reflections at the beginning of a day allow students to voice frustration, gratitude, fear, and other emotions.

3. Create a Positive School Climate Where Emotions Are Supported

Creating an online environment can be challenging. Simple tricks teachers can use include coming to class sessions with high energy and meaningfully chunking lessons to give students breaks. This is important both to enhance student engagement and to give students time away from computer screens.

4. Design Opportunities to Reflect, Reset, and Reorganize

These challenging times make it increasingly important to incorporate reflection into remote learning schedules, to support realistic goal setting, and to encourage “do-over” efforts that help teachers and students feel successful and gratified. End your learning days with opportunities for closing reflections.

Read the full article about remote learning's emotional challenges by Shira Hammerman, Joey Eisman, and Samantha Star at eJewish Philanthropy.