Support and communication are the keys to remote learning

Author: Kara Smith
Source:  NYSUT Communications
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One of the many challenges facing educators over the past year has been how to adjust instruction for first completely remote and then for hybrid learning environments. The reality is that nobody was an expert at this before the pandemic. It forced teachers to radically rethink how to approach teaching and how to promote effective learning environments, no matter how their students are learning.

We conducted a series of webinars for NYSUT members featuring some of our instructors from NYSUT Education and Learning Trust. We asked them how they are balancing it all and what tips and tools they have learned and implemented to help them make the most of hybrid learning. In this series, we break down their top tips for you.

For additional resources and video on blended and hybrid remote learning, visit www.nysut.org/hybrid.


shared successKurt Hassenpflug
National Board Certified High School ENL & ELA Teacher,
North Colonie Central School District

Hassenpflug’s district is operating on a hybrid schedule that includes blended instructional minutes.

“We’re all up against it right now. The reality is there simply aren’t enough instructional minutes in a period.”

Here are some strategies and approaches Hassenpflug suggests to best manage your time.

Find and address inefficiencies

  • Get out in front of the question: What are we doing? Getting in front of this question can save precious minutes. Think about how you are presenting information to students.
  • Cast a wide net – Consider a multi-modal approach for delivering directions. If instructions are all written or all verbal, they will surely be missed by some. A multi-modal approach ensures fewer students will get lost.

Choose the right digital-learning resources

Even though there are many different resources out there, Hassenpflug said, teachers must consider what tools are worth their time. So, ask yourself:

  • Which one is most user-friendly?
  • Which one is free?
  • Which one is easiest for students to navigate?
  • What one is easiest to troubleshoot?
  • Which one integrates best with your grading software?

Time-Saving Tips

  • Know your contract — Learning your contract enables you to know what you have been promised in terms of instructional time and release time, and helps you advocate for yourself.
  • Advocate for training — There is no shortage of training available, such as NYSUT’s ELT programs, to help teachers stay on the cutting edge.
  • Beware of the subscriptions for which your district pays — Doing so helps prevent you from reaching into your own pocket as you try to increase efficiency.
  • Attend union meetings — Be aware of the advocacy that is taking place on your behalf.
  • Be in contact with union representatives — Raise concerns with them, and share with them what is working

Ensure Accountability

“Some days are about surviving more than academic achievement. We want to keep students focused on the task at hand. We want to create a culture of doing work in our rooms. Building a culture is so important. It’s tough when you have students at home and in person. I think modeling goes a long, long way. When students can accurately see what you want them to do it goes a long way to getting everyone on the same page.”

For more resources

• Next Article Link
• View full webinar here: https://vimeo.com/473640541
• Also see related webinar: https://vimeo.com/481709424

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