This blog is from one of COBIS' Supporting Associates
Written by Alex Cull, Global Marketing Director at Mangahigh
As the pandemic continues to throw the world from one uncertainty to the next, the education space is suffering a similar fate. While countries tackle their unique circumstances, most teachers are facing a similar challenge around their COVID catch-up plans.
As exhausting as these may sound to teachers, we need to consider just how daunting this may also appear to students. With the uncertainty and stress we’ve all experienced in the last 16-18 months, we need to keep a focus on how best to approach our catch-up plans in a way that works for both teachers and students.
The summer holidays are fast approaching, so are some key tips on how to ensure that the catch-up programmes you may be looking to implement (in both the short and long term) have the key focus of your students’ wellbeing and education at heart.
1. Breakdown the learning into manageable chunks
A given in most classrooms anyway, but don’t let the pressure of the pandemic get to your teaching style. When assigning work to your students, be it in the classroom or at home, make sure it’s a manageable workload. Assess your student’s capabilities beforehand and assign work according to their capability and not necessarily the curriculum expectation. Assessments can be done through various methods to ensure you acknowledge each student’s understanding and can provide a unique learning experience for them.
2. Focus on a growth mindset rather than a catch-up mindset
Most children will have gaps in their knowledge, so use these as learning opportunities rather than a mere to-do for them. Students will fail, and potentially even more so with their new learning environments. Facilitating a growth mindset with your students will show them that making mistakes is not only acceptable, but a positive step on their learning path. Using tools that incorporate gamification or friendly competition elements will provide a motivation for students so they will pick themselves back up again if they are struggling on a topic.
3. The most important tip - make it fun!
There’s the urban myth that children laugh 300 times a day compared to a measly 20 times a day for adults. Even though unfounded by evidence, the saying highlights that in essence children primarily just want to have fun. Using engaging tools such as educational games or practical outside activities gets your students practicing their knowledge and remembering it for all the right reasons. Be sure to pique their interest by using a variety of online and offline tools. That way you can keep their learning experience varied whilst providing them a balanced classroom that is likely to continue way beyond the pandemic.
Just as we want to encourage a growth mindset with our students, we should also look to adopt this resilience for teaching as the school year comes to a close. With the hope that the next school year has some pre-2020 familiarity, teachers can help students jumpstart their learning recovery in a positive and engaging way.