The good news is that you can make a difference.
A year into Covid, and online learning hasn’t yet phased out. You have likely experienced the ups and downs of what the reality of education is for your child in the present day. Motivating kids through a screen can often be difficult.
Here’s what you can do to make online learning more efficient for your child and easier for their teachers.
This is a huge point that has directly impacted my ability to teach in a negative way. I have had students take their classes from cars to their kitchen table where mom is banging pots and making dinner. I have taught classes where the tv is blasting and I can hear every word of Family Feud. I have taught classes where younger siblings are screaming so loudly that I can’t even hear myself think, never mind teach a child without projecting my voice to the point of a sore throat the next day. The worst classes I have taught are the ones where parents are chewing so closely to their child’s computer that it might as well be in my ear.
When you set your child up for their Math Genie class in an area in your house that is well-traveled and extremely noisy, this is just plain disrespectful to your teacher. You are not only hindering the teacher’s ability to teach your child, but making it harder for the teacher to work with all students in the class.
Do your teacher a favor and provide a quiet and undisturbed place, preferably your child’s bedroom at a desk, to take class. There should be little to no background noise. Try putting yourself in the teachers shoes by imagining how hard it would be to teach a group of children virtually while every student has a noisy background. It’s extremely stressful, and makes teaching feel less rewarding, and more of a burden. We cannot serve your children to the best of our ability if our basic needs are not being met. Being able to hear and be heard is a basic need that must be met in order to teach.
Praise the teacher.
Yes, praising the teacher makes a huge difference. After the completion of each book and test, you have a conference with your teacher. This is the time to share any concerns you may have and hopefully the improvements you see. You may even have a success story to share. This is also a really great time to thank your teacher for all that they have done for your child. It costs nothing to say thank you and to let your teacher know that their child raves about them.
At the end of your conference, teachers often ask you to leave a review on Google for them and to fill out the parent survey. Through this small gesture of thanking your child’s teacher, you will be supporting the teacher in a way that will motivate him or her to continuously improve their craft of teaching. You will also help them move forward in their career by promoting their name on Google.
Treat your teachers as partners.
We have begun enforcing our rule of no parents allowed in the room during your child’s online learning class. While it may seem personal, we promise it isn’t. Our teachers are doing everything in their power to provide your child with the best education through online learning possible. When parents are involved with their child’s online class, it is disruptive to the child, the entire class, and the teacher.
When parents are in class, this stops the student from being independent and taking charge of their work. It prevents them from asking questions to the teacher, and this does not set them up for long-term success. Parents are unintentionally micromanaging their teachers, especially when they don’t leave the class after being asked to do so.
Work with your teachers. Make sure all the assigned homework gets completed and checked. Communicate with your teacher through the parent portal by leaving reply messages. Be sure to indicate that your child’s homework has been completed and checked. It may seem like a small, trivial thing to you, but it makes a world of difference for the teacher.
Another way you can treat your teacher as a partner is by making sure your child is prepared and ready to take their class on time. Being late, even by a minute or two is disruptive to your teacher, the other children, and the flow of the class. Be prepared by having your child open up their book to the classwork page they will be learning that day. Arrive two to three minutes early. Provide them with sharpened pencils, erasers, and headphones, plus anything else they need to succeed. Remind your child to take bathroom breaks and eat before class. Showing up prepared is incredibly helpful to the teacher. It also allows your teacher more time to do what they do best- teach.
Develop and maintain good habits and routines at home.
If we have talked about the importance of routines once, we have talked about it a million times. Providing your child with a solid routine on a daily basis can only set them up for success. Putting your child on a routine offers them expectations and in many cases actually reduces anxiety. (This is because your child can anticipate what will happen next).
You might even implement a “Math Genie routine” for your child. This will help your child to be more independent and take greater pride in their work. With that, the teacher will be able to push your child even further and really tap into their potential. The importance of good habits during online learning is monumental to their success, and will seriously impact the wellbeing of your teacher, too!
You can read more about why kids should have a morning and evening routine here.
Math Genie teachers always have your child’s best interest at heart, and we are working hard each day to be the best teacher we can to your child. Do you part and honor the teacher’s request. Prepare your child for their class, and do your best to make sure that their learning room has minimal distractions.
We love having you and your child apart of the Math Genie family, and we are constantly improving ourselves so we can serve you better! Feel free to reach out to management with any questions, concerns, or suggestions about how we can make your Math Genie experience even better.
-The Math Genie Team