It goes without saying that health and physical educators (HPE) are accustomed to change and change on the fly. It is inevitable that there will be an assessment, assembly, drill of some sort- that you may or may not have been given notice to ahead of time- at multiple points during the school year. We adapt and change our instruction on a moment’s notice and make it work. Through it all, as HPE teachers, we do what is best for our students and make the time they have with us meaningful and purposeful. Through all the belly aching of another interruption to our instruction, we rise to the challenge and take ownership of our instruction to our students’ benefit.
Over the past few weeks, the aforementioned has happened to education as a whole at lightning speed. For some, even overnight. The governor of my state announced school closures at 4 o’clock Sunday afternoon for the next day on Monday! The feeling of panic and scrambling to provide quality instruction has swarmed all over the United States. Once the reality of “OMG, I am teaching remotely” sets in, how do you put together something that affords you the opportunity to provide and deliver quality health and physical education? If you search the internet, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. you will see TONS of resources. Furthermore, there are so many gracious companies providing incredible resources for teachers and students right now. How do you choose? Here are some tips for setting yourself, and your students, up for success.
- Show Some Compassion-This entire process is very stressful to our students. Most have never taken a class online or remotely. Think of how much we have to help them and keep them on task when we have them in front of us. Now, they are doing this on their own. Most likely, they are getting overwhelmed with all the work being thrown at them at once. There are also other factors to consider. What about the student whose parents have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19? Or the ones that are now taking care of siblings because their parents are still working? What if they have a family member that has contracted the virus? All of a sudden, school takes a back seat. The word grace comes to mind here for me.
- Stick With What You Know – This is not the time to try to introduce anything new, content or technology. Allow students, and yourself, time to settle in and adjust to this new learning environment. Keep it simple as to not add to the anxiety and frustration students are feeling right now. Simple “check in” questions and reflections are still content specific for us and allow you the chance to engage with your students.
- Be A Support System – We not only have the most awesome teaching jobs in the world, we have some of the best relationships with our students. We often know our students at a deeper level than most simply due to the content we teach. Use that connection to communicate with your students and check in with them. They are looking to us to help show them the way and be that safety net for them to lean on. We never know who needs our help but there is always someone in our classes that is waiting for us to reach out.
These are simple yet effective steps you can take to make the transition to virtual or remote teaching easier on everyone. This time is not about inventing the best or greatest content on planet Earth, but it is how we act during this time that means the most to our students.
This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogweek. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Amy Prior, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of slowchathealth.com
Amy has written for the slowchathealth site before and I highly recommend that you read ‘Building Your Health Curriculum‘.