Relationships are the key to many successful ventures! Distance learning or remote teaching is no exception. But what makes this distance learning journey so unique is not the amount of relationships we must juggle in order to be successful – but the road we must take to do so!
There are several relationships we must create, maintain, and value in the world of remote teaching. Think of these relationships as the important mile markers we encounter as our distance learning journey progresses.
1. Relationships with Our Students’ Families
The first distance learning relationship to maintain is the one with your students’ families. They’re allowing us into their homes and we must respect that. Our students’ families are experiencing so many emotions – we must build a relationship with them based on acceptance and understanding.
Out students’ families have gotten thrown into roles with no preparation. Balancing school, work, and home lives was tricky before this pandemic started. Now, add in factors like health risks, being quarantined, having to homeschool a child or multiple children with little to no experience in education, financial stress, and possibly having to work remotely as you homeschool children – each family situation is different, and in each situation, it’s a lot!
This is where we teachers come in! We must do what we can to create a distance learning atmosphere and experience that doesn’t complicate family lives even more. Our students’ families need to know we are there to work with them. Really Good Stuff has tons of great resources for educating, entertaining , and engaging kids at home if you’re working with families who are overwhelmed.
2. Relationships With Our Students
The next important relationship is the one we have with our students! Our students are feeling stresses like missing their friends and families and not understanding exactly what is going on.
We must make sure that the time we have with them is genuine, valuable, and full of love and encouragement. Our students need normalcy! They need to know we are there, and they need to feel loved. I start off every one of my classes with a Positive Affirmation Chip from Really Good Stuff® – my kids love these!
3. Relationships With Our Own Families
Our own families need us to be there for them. As teachers, we are stressed out by distance learning, and so are they. We are putting so much time into our virtual lessons and making sure our students and their families are okay – but we can’t forget about our own children and families in the process.
Talk to your families, love them – just be with them and be present. If you’re able, take advantage of this time to create positive memories. My family and I always start our day off with a Positive Affirmation Chip from Really Good Stuff®.
4. Relationships With Our Coworkers
Our coworkers keep us grounded and keep us going. They are our navigators when the remote teaching journey gets too complicated. They can also help us find our way back to the road we need to be on – lean on them! When we express our anxieties to them about this distance learning journey, we allow ourselves to focus on our students, their families, our families, and ourselves without our frustrations about teaching getting in the way!
5. Relationships With Our Ourselves
The final relationship is the one we have with ourselves. This is a stressful, challenging time, but don’t put yourself on the back burner. Read a book, take a bath, exercise, or just meditate. And be patient with yourself!
A Final Word on Relationships at This Challenging Time
If there’s anything that I’ve learned as this distance learning journey progresses, it’s that the relationships we have are what will keep us going!
Our relationships are the gas that keeps our vehicle on the road. Without relationships, our journey wouldn’t be worthwhile or fulfilling.
This may not be the journey we wanted take but it’s a journey that we’re all taking together. It can either be one full of love, positivity, and memories or it can be full of stress and uncertainty. The choice is yours to make! I personally want my journey and the journeys of those around me to be as positive as possible, and for all of those who I am with virtually to know that they are loved and valued.
Read more teacher tips for distance learning:
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 1
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 2
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 3
- Teacher Tips for Distance Learning: Week 4
By Cindy Price
Cindy Price is a veteran teacher of 26 years. She has taught kindergarten for 19 years and first grade for seven years. She was born and raised in Massachusetts, but has taught in Florida, Georgia, and now Delaware.