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Staying Connected in COVID 19 times

Teachers around the world are missing their classrooms, the joy of going to school , meeting colleagues, being with students. All those things that seemed to be a drag on Monday mornings seem to be the ones that are topping the "wish to do"list. The status and posts put up by teachers on various social media platforms are shouting out--"we miss the children".

Children have adapted marvelously to this new technology driven world. Schools have their own take on the path they wish to take for teaching online.

As in classrooms, once again in a mad rush to complete the syllabus the school seems to have forgotten that both the stakeholders on either side of the virtual platform need a breather. They need an applause, an appreciation for their contribution.

One does wonder if the teachers understand their impact, not just a handful but all the teachers across the world, do they realize that they contribute in ways far more meaningful than completing the syllabus.

It will take a teacher just ten minutes to press the pause button and bring the class to life, add more meaning to the day and keep the connects close to the heart. ( Parents who are far away from their children can also try the same, if they are not yet doing so)

Five simple things that teachers can do to keep the connections close to heart, right where they should be.

1. Positive Phone Calls: Keep them positive, call 5 children in one evening and Bingo by the end of the week you would have called up all the children in your class. Manage the logistics well.

Keep these calls positive, share anything where you feel the child stretched them self, give precise statements that talk of the action and its impact. For example, use a talk on following lines, " I really liked the question you had posted on the chat. It made all of us think hard." Be precise and specific.

2. Voice Notes: I love these, as the voice notes can be recorded at ones own time and in any space ( at times messy tables and rooms is unavoidable) . You just need to grab your phone, record a message and share it with the children as a whole class or personalise and share individually. This could go on any platform you use. Imagine the warmth, if you post it early morning before the children enter the virtual classrooms. The warmth will be infectious. Most of the platforms have a built in schedule timer which you can set the previous night. Saves you from scrambling for the gadget early morning. Grab your coffee while they listen to your positive voice note. Touch on group behaviour, on good collaboration when using the tech tools, learning to adapt to the online platform. Whatever sets a positive tone for the day.

3. Cards: One can underestimate the value of a simple handmade card. Even if you do not consider yourself to be an artist, just draw / doodle/ papercraft/ quill anything or just write a simple note like"Best Class/ Child Ever". Click a picture and post it on the platform. There is no stopping your creativity, but do keep it simple. You do not want to spend hours creating cards.

4. Digital Creative :

Good morning from me to you

I use this when I have bit of time on my hand.

My everyday note to my friends has a picture of a flower from my garden with a little note. What could be more personal than that.

(Once the flowers are over, I ll use the leaves)

Just imagine, getting a wonderful note from the teacher with a picture of something very dear to them. There is an instant connect.

I am addicted to Canva for my creatives. It is a great website with tons of templates.

5.Videos :

Never underestimate the super power of this medium.

Try sharing small video notes with the children, just be sure to explain it to them that these are personal messages not for further sharing ( unless you are comfortable with that) You could even go live on whichever platform you use and share a small video message. I like to shoot my video in my balcony or the terrace where I can have nature in the background. Nature always has a peaceful and calming effect.

I am sure as you start thinking of these little gestures, you will find many more ways to build the daily connect with the children.

Stay strong Stay positive during these challenging times.

I understand we all have different learning styles so here is the link to my youtube video for this topic

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