How do I set expectations when teaching young students online?

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How do I set expectations when teaching young students online?

Postby HellyDouglas » Sat 24. Apr 2021, 15:07

I've been hearing from lots of teachers struggling to teach online because of the young age of the students. After all, we'd never expect these children to sit still all day in the classroom.

I started my teaching career in year 1 (aged 5-6) so I've thought of a few tips to help you get these online lessons working as well as possible, and it starts with setting your expectations...

Before you launch into online teaching, what do you want your lessons to look like? Will parents be joining in or leaving their children in your capable hands? Deciding how you want to organise everything before you start is far easier than making changes during lessons. Don't forget to tell the parents this so they don't make inadvertent mistakes.

Learning online is still new for most parents. We know there is a huge range of digital literacy. Tell them exactly what they should do to prepare.

You could try:
    Recording a simple video using Loom or Microsoft Stream to demonstrate
    Creating a how-to guide with screenshots to help
    Sending log-in details they’ll need
    Sharing your email address in case of problems
    Encouraging them to find a quieter spot to work from
    Sending a list of equipment needed

Abandon your plans to actually teach in your first few lessons and instead make the learning all about understanding the technology and feeling familiar with it. Have fun, play low-stakes games and recap prior learning until they all feel confident. Practise routines like joining with the microphone muted and pressing the ‘raise hand’ button rather than calling out.

Learning should be fun for our youngsters, so take away the pressure of getting things wrong by keeping with a play-based approach. You can still keep firm expectations about behaviour while having fun.
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