Advice for teachers, from teachers, for great distance teaching

 In #COVID-19, Enko Blog

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the vast majority of schools across the world are now closed. Education is significantly impacted. Parents, students but also teachers have to cope with this challenging situation. Working remotely is not easy. 

However, there are many benefits and lessons we can learn from remote working: 

  • It gives better flexibility and enables self-paced learning. 
  • It allows for optimization and improvement of time management. 
  • Obviously, you’ll get new technical skills and will love all the weekly meetings to chat with your colleagues! (Yes, even the one where you dozed off on Wednesday afternoons!) 

So let’s stay positive and see this period as an opportunity to review and upgrade our way of working. We will all be happy to go back to school at the end of the crisis! Let’s make lasting and impacting changes in our way of working, so we benefit from that change even once school starts!

This article is particularly aimed for teachers, but all tips can be useful for anyone wishing to efficiently work from home! Here is a selection of 10 recommendations from our teachers across the continent

1) Wake up and prepare as any usual working day. Rosa Maria Gadzicua, Teacher of Chemistry at Enko Riverside mentions: Educators have to dress up appropriately, as if they were going out for work. It is not advisable to work remotely whilst putting on pyjamas or dressing inappropriately. 

2) Be organized: as educators, one cannot get into a classroom without being adequately prepared in terms of content to be taught, material to be shared and afore-scheduling of Zoom meetings with learners.

3) Be flexible and keep your sense of humor, explains Tamrah Diallo, from Enko Waca. Everything may not always go as planned, and what works well for one class may not work as well for another.  Be flexible in how you structure your classes and assignments, understanding that there is a huge learning curve and adjustment for your students, especially in a time where there is an imminent threat of illness in the back of their minds. 

4) Plan the study schedule on a weekly basis. According to Teena Balani, Business Management Teacher at Enko John Wesley, it’s necessary to organize the learning sessions of the class based on the current situation whether to focus on prior knowledge or to start with a new discussion and choose the appropriate learning methodologies. This will help the students know at what time and days they will be learning different courses.

5) Remain attentive, more than usual, to the learners’ feelings in order to anticipate cases of demotivation and remedy them as quickly as possible, advises Ibrahima Karamoko, teacher at Enko Riviera. 

6) Regular communication and continuous availability: to make sure the distance approach works, we have to keep in loop the parents and ensure holistic development of the child by making sure that the student is getting all the mediums of learning ( Video lessons, voice notes, videos and online sessions).

7) Share your timetable and class schedule with your learners and make sure to follow it religiously because a consistent and regular timetable will help distance learning feel like routine. 

8) Students should not be overloaded with work. Teachers should assign work with limits taking in mind that students no longer have their direct peer support to do work. Peer support, a powerful element in learning has been lost or limited during these distant learning times.

9) Avoid overloading students with too many applications to try. Preferably used platforms are : Group emails, Google Classroom, Zoom and Whatsapp, mentions Teena Balani. 

10) Diversify and pace lesson activities and avoid long lectures. Also combine content presentations with discussions and student-centred exercises, states Mr Sailas, from Enko Sekeleka in Mozambique. 

Thank you to our great teachers for their valuable advice! This selection of best practice tips for distance learning should help you to become an even more efficient and versatile teacher!

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