No, not the virus. I think I’m getting the hang of how to build relationships with students from a distance. I may actually be better at it from a distance.
My E-learning started out with just sending out assignments that needed to be turned in. After talking with my elementary school colleagues, I realized I needed to get on the google hangouts band wagon and start meeting face-to-face.
First, I started out sending meeting invitations to my small groups for tomorrow. One of my students responded with an email and the heading said, (I kid you not), “Wait, what? What time because idk what time I’m getting up.” Then, I was getting emails from teachers about three of my students who have not been doing their work and I’ve been worried about them; a lot. So, I sent out a meeting invite for today and l caught one! I’ve always loved fishing.
I was so happy to see her! And, she was so happy to see me! We talked for a few minutes about what is happening in her other classes, and I already knew what was happening in her other classes because the teachers shared their google classrooms with me. I told her another teacher was having a review lesson right now, so she had better get on that, but I would talk to her tomorrow.
This experience has really clarified for me the importance of building relationships with students. You can dole out assignments and hope for a response, but, if you don’t have that personal contact and support, the work may not get done. It’s especially important for the population in which I work.
It makes me wonder what it will be like when we go back. Getting caught up in the schedule and deadlines often prevents me from building those relationships. Personally, I think I will strive for more of a balance between ‘getting it done’ and just ‘being there.’