Teaching is a tough job. You give your all to your classroom of young learners in hopes of inspiring them, in hopes of helping create a brighter future through education. That’s no small feat!
With the onset of COVID-19, while most didn’t think it could happen – teaching got even tougher. Having to learn new skills, adapting to use technology in new ways, and learning to engage students in the same way as in the classroom – it’s hard. That is no secret. It’s also often a thankless job, so it is very easy to get down on yourself when going through these tough moments.
It’s important throughout your connected learning journey that you remain positive and optimistic. While it may be hard, know that sometimes the most wonderful things are born from struggle, and we believe that is what will happen as teachers start to learn the ropes of teaching with technology.
In our Teaching with Tech courses, we like to encourage teachers to embrace those existing skills, celebrate their passion for teaching, and be confident. If you embody these things every day in your hybrid classes, you will succeed.
Here are some things not to do in your connected classroom that will help you maintain a hopeful outlook and increase your confidence along the way:
Don’t Be Afraid
Change can be scary, that’s why so many people stay inside their safe bubbles their entire life. But that bubble is not where you experience growth. How boring would life be if every day were the same? How would our students grow if every lesson taught the same thing?
Change is a requirement for growth, so while it can be scary, it is important to embrace it fearlessly.
Teach that class the way you would in-person – with your passion for your students and learning shining through to guide the way. With that, you’ll break down those walls of fear, and as you realize you can do this, you will not be afraid anymore.
If you just do it afraid at first, you’ll adapt and gain confidence that will banish that fear and allow you to thrive in the hybrid classroom environment!
Panic is a natural reaction when something is foreign to us, right? It’s a defense mechanism. As a teacher leading a hybrid connected classroom for the first time, when something goes wrong as it inevitably will, it’s easy to let panic be your reaction.
But do not panic! You can overcome any difficulty with grace and ease, you just need the right tools.
Read our blog that covers the four biggest tips we have for teaching on camera that will help you prepare and be confident to lead your classroom. So if there is a mishap or technical difficulty, panic will not be your reaction, you’ll react confidently and solve the problem like the masterful teacher you are!
Don’t Do it All
We are living in the age of digital natives. If you haven’t heard that term before, digital natives refers to the younger generations today who have been raised in the era of technology. These children have had a tablet in their hand since infancy in some cases, and some of them know how to operate technology better than their parents at a very young age.
Harness that power! You do not need to do it all in your connected classroom. Lean on your students, allow them to use their powerful tech knowledge to assist you in the classroom.
In a socially-distant manner, provide certain students that are in-person in your classroom with jobs. If the cord gets unplugged, have them plug it in. If the internet drops, have someone responsible for resetting the router. Simple tasks that will alleviate the burden off of you and make your students feel valued and important, too.
Don’t Expect Perfection
You’ve probably heard the term “practice makes perfect”, right? It’s popular because it is true. The only way to get better at something is to practice it. The first time you get in front of a classroom with a camera to teach students in-person and online simultaneously, you’re not going to get it perfect. And that is OK! In fact, it’s expected. No one is perfect at something the first time they do it.
Give yourself grace as you navigate this new world of learning. Allow yourself to take time outside the classroom to self-reflect on what you’re doing well and what you think you can improve. This self-reflection is sometimes the best way to improve!
Just as you may have attended teaching seminars in the past to enhance your teaching skills in the classroom, you can do the same for this connected learning environment. That is why we’ve created the Teaching with Tech programs. To help you practice, so you can pave your path to online teaching perfection!
Don’t Change Yourself
Just because there is a camera in your classroom, doesn’t mean that you need to become David Letterman overnight. You are still you, your class is still the same, you’re just learning in new places!
Focus on your same strengths, use your passion for teaching, and lead your connected class the same way you would lead a fully in-person class. There is no difference except that little camera.
Your goals are still the same, you are still the same teacher your students loved and learned from before the pandemic. Don’t let a camera or microphone change that!
Alright – you have got this! Stay optimistic, equip yourself with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in the connected classroom – with these two things you will succeed! Banish the negative thoughts and keep these tips in mind.
If you want to discuss training options that will help boost your confidence leading a connected classroom, reach out! Our education specialists are ready to help you grow and succeed.