There is little question in the minds of teachers that they will be teaching in some sort of hybrid model when they return to school in the fall. Most teachers disliked teaching online for a wide variety of reasons—but mainly because they didn’t feel very good at it. While some teachers jumped right in and began adapting and learning new online platforms—many were frozen in old modes of teaching that weren’t effective online.
Teachers are learners, so they have learned from many of the mistakes they made last spring. But they are also planners and they are worried that they haven’t learned enough. And while many administrators are focused on making sure all students will have computers and internet access, which is crucial, it doesn’t come close to ensuring students will thrive. If teachers are not given the training they need to teach effectively online, teachers will flounder—and many students whose parents don’t have the time, the ability, or the inclination to help their children stay on task will fall far behind.
The following is a list of important areas teachers say they need help in:
- How to prepare for an uncertain year.
- Creating an effective environment for online learning.
- Building and maintaining relationships with students online.
- How to start and end online instruction.
- How to ensure student success.
- Getting to the essential learning and cutting out the fluff.
- Creating and maintaining student engagement.
- How to best utilize videoconferencing.
- How to maximize use of online discussion boards.
- Maintaining the trust bond between teacher, student, and parents in the online environment.
- Formative assessment in the online world.
- To grade or not to grade.
- Managing their own family while teaching online.
- Tending to the social/emotional needs of students.
- Managing their stress and anxiety.