Distance learning with elementary students is an entirely different experience from working with them in-person. Everything I imagined my internship to me is different from what I expected. Despite this, there are still opportunities to learn and grow as an upcoming teacher in this new environment. Here are a few things that I have learned so far.
- Have patience: There is so much change going on between teachers, students, and ourselves during these times. It can be difficult for any of us to process, and a lot of decisions are out of our own hands. I learned that the best thing to do is to wait and see what you can do about it, instead of worrying about how it should be.
- Be flexible: The schedule for virtual teaching is much different from in-person. Since you are not physically at the school, communication can vary between you and the teachers you are working with. The best thing to do is to remain flexible and available. It really does make a difference and helps the teachers out.
- Be prepared: This applies to both in-person and distance learning settings, but it really decreases the waiting and behaviors that students will have when it comes to virtual learning. Being prepared includes having all the tabs you need ready, monitoring student work through Google Classroom, and having extra work/lessons prepared for students who finish their work quickly.
- Enjoy the little moments: Even if you are not teaching in-person, I feel like it is important to enjoy the cute, funny, or “Aha!” moments for students when you are teaching them online. Regardless of the situation, I am still teaching and want to have fun doing it. So just making the best out of it and enjoying my time with my students really helps!
Kimy Velasquez is a student in the Neag School of Education Class of 2021.