Academic Success and COVID-19 Pandemic: How students can cope with virtual learning and what parents can do to support them.
A year ago, the pandemic was just a word that is generally associated with Biology and Science. Covid-19 on the other hand did not exist in your vocabulary much less make sense to you and the rest of the world. Despite the pandemic, life and studying must continue for students albeit under a new and unfamiliar terrain, with virtual classroom replacing the traditional physical classroom. The most prominent being the use of Google Meet, Google Classroom, Zoom Meeting among others.
To say this unconventional method of learning is challenging and daunting would be an understatement: the technicality of learning the ‘ropes’, the cost of data, connectivity problems are notable challenges associated with virtual learning. It gets worse sometimes during submission of assignments, tests and exams hence necessitating the use of alternative platforms.
As a student how do you adapt to the ‘new normal’ of virtual learning? The following tips would help:
- Cultivate and maintain a healthy Student-Teacher relationship with your subject teachers. Note that teachers have different teaching methods; adapt to the method, try and understand the teacher and if you have an issue with the method, seek out the teacher and respectfully state your view. Remember, teachers are humans and learn daily too. Collaboration with your teachers is a vital component to achieve great success.
- Maintain a healthy Personal-Tutor/Tutee relationship. Your Personal Tutor is your surrogate Teacher/Parent in school and they are duty-bound to cater to your academic and emotional well-being. Always open up to them on your challenges as they are professionally trained to help you deal with the challenges.
- Show more seriousness towards the learning process even in the virtual space by doing the following:
a. Have your lessons in a serene part of your home
b. Be punctual to class
c. Turn-on your camera at all times with your face showing (not headshot or silhouette)
d. Place your device where there is adequate lighting
e. Dress appropriately (in school uniform provided by the school)
f. Mute your microphone to prevent background noises
g. Subscribe to trusted internet services most functional in your location
h. Have alternative internet source(s) if you can
i. Actively engage in the learning processes
j. Check and respond to your email regularly
k. Treat the virtual class with respect as you would a physical class
At this juncture, it is pertinent to express appreciation for esteemed parents and guardians for their unflinching support during this time of ‘new normal’ and for expending time, energy and resources to ensure the success of Virtual learning. We remain resolved to give our best at all times.
To ensure the success of virtual learning, we implore parents and guardians to note the following:
- Your child/ward is in a normal classroom even if it is virtual
- Refrain from communicating with them during a lesson (that would be impossible in a physical classroom, remember?)
- Provide the learning resources (laptop, iPad, internet-enabled cell-phone), trusted and swift internet services most functional in your location
- If possible, provide alternative internet source(s)
- Ensure your child/ward goes to bed early and gets enough sleep
- Ensure your child/ward attends class promptly
- Follow-up on assignments and projects
- Communicate with subject teachers and personal tutor of your child/ward
- Regularly check and respond to your email
Note that virtual learning space would continue to be challenging to all stakeholders: School management, staff, parents and students. However, with progressive learning and willingness to adapt, it can only get better.