Last spring, the shift to a virtual learning environment represented a sudden, emergency shift for schools, students, and parents alike. Everyone was adjusting in numerous ways.
Looking towards the start of the new school year, Educational Connections is dedicated to helping make this transition as smooth and effective as possible. Parents have a LOT of questions.
One common concern we have heard a lot is that kids are finding it much harder to reach out to their teachers for help when they are behind a computer across town, instead of behind a desk in the same room. What are some ways or tactics kids can use to get extra help, clarification on assignment, or speak up when they’re struggling? What can parents do to help?
In the physical classroom, kids can give subtle physical signals for help, hang out after class, or go find a teacher at lunch. In the virtual environment, it’s not that easy.
Here are some ways to ask for help within the virtual learning environment:
- Be sure to speak up when the teacher asks, “Are there any questions?”
- Use the “raise hand” feature within the online learning platform during class
- Put questions in the chat, using the “send privately” option if that feels more comfortable
- Email the teacher directly after class while the question is fresh in your mind
- Ask questions on the teacher assignment page
- Schedule time virtually with teacher one to one during the teacher planning time
- Ask for a recording of the class or/or a copy of the teacher’s notes
If the child is very reserved, nervous or shy, you can help them write an email saying something like, “I’m having trouble understanding how to do [are of difficulty or confusion]. Can you please help me with this?” The approach works well because the student is likely to get a positive response. And when they do, they’re more likely to ask for assistance again.
Alternatively, if the student is young or especially timid, you can send an email saying, “I’ve noticed that my child needs help, but is very nervous about asking a question in front of the other kids. Do you have any suggestions?” This allows you to be helpful without taking over or being confrontational in any way.
Most importantly, please know that teachers want and expect kids to ask for help. We do as well. Please click on the button below to talk about your specific concerns, and schedule your free consultation with one of our learning experts.