Student engagement is always a difficult task for many schools and teachers even when students are present in the classroom. It is easy for students to be detracted, lose concentration or even create some chaos with certain behaviors to break up the boredom.
However, we have introduced virtual learning to the complexity of student engagement. Some students just will not stay online or cannot process the information if they are online too long.
Logan Beth Fisher has written an article in Edutopia on this topic that may be helpful to teachers and parents.
Here is a quote from the beginning of the article:
Teachers, as an instructional coach, I hear you when you ask, “What do we do about those kids who didn’t show up to remote learning sessions last spring if we are still teaching remotely in the fall?” How do we get them to show up, to do the work—in essence, to comply?
My daughter was one of those kids who, because of anxiety, refused to participate in virtual learning. Some of her teachers may have figured that she was one of those noncompliant kids, and of course, it looked that way. But for her, the issue wasn’t about compliance. It was about feeling safe and understood.
Most educators understand the importance of establishing respectful relationships with students, but it is often difficult to put that theory into action without a model or plan. The five steps below serve as a relationship framework for teachers to consider as they prepare for the possibility of remote learning this fall and when trying to establish lasting and meaningful relationships with their students.
Ms. Fisher then continues with her five steps for teachers to consider as they strive to engage students into the world of virtual learning. I think these steps are consistent with the needs of most students and with a little bit of creativity teachers can have more success in engaging students with this new way to provide education.
If students are interested, engaged and are in the right brain space to learn, it will be easier to hold their attention, engage their learning capability and create better retention. We will be on this journey of virtual education for a while longer so we should be working diligently to create best practices around this engagement process with our students.