Although distance learning provides some flexibility over the traditional classroom setting, the student can end up feeling unmotivated and isolated without the ongoing face-to-face interactions with their teachers and fellow classmates. As your student begins their high school year with another semester of online learning, here are 10 tips to keep them focused and motivated.
- Setting Goals: Encourage your students self-reflect and set goals for the new school year. Here are a few questions to get them started. What do they want to accomplish academically and socially in the school year? What are some of the challenges or obstacles they might face? What are the steps they can take to overcome these obstacles?
- Staying focused and motivated: Help breakdown their goals further into easy actionable steps that they can include in their weekly plan. Creating a weekly schedule will also help add structure to their day. This is especially useful in asynchronous learning, where the teacher sets up a learning path and expects the student to engage at their own pace. Help them use the effective Pomodoro technique to stay on task and get more done. Getting themselves an accountability buddy will reduce procrastination and increase productivity.
- Learning and productivity preferences: Most of us use a combination of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning to assimilate information. Knowing their learning and productivity preferences will help students understand and implement ways to best synthesize information.
- Set up a designated workspace: Help your student declutter and organize their workspace with necessary supplies to set up their “home classroom”. Make sure the workplace is a designated quiet area that students use for learning purposes only. This will make a big difference in their ability to learn.
- Minimize distractions: It’s best for the student to not have their phones on them. If they do have their phones make sure they have the ability to turn off their texts and social media channels while in class or doing their homework.
- Developing a growth mindset: Help your student see challenges as an opportunity to grow. Teach them to take feedback constructively and learn from their failures.
- Invest in meaningful activities: Help your student use the challenging pandemic time as a time to self-reflect and invest in activities that are meaningful to them.
- Augment course material: If the student is having a difficult time with a particular course, they could augment the course material to help them learn the subject matter in an easier and more engaging way.
- Foster teacher relationships: Even though there are no face to face interactions, have your student look for other ways to foster teacher relationships. Encourage them to actively participate in virtual learning, take advantage of virtual office hours and email their teachers regularly with any questions they might have. This will also help them later on when it’s time to ask for those letters of recommendation.
- Make self-care a priority: Remind your student to prioritize self-care and make sure to schedule time for rest and relaxation while planning their weekly calendar. This could include exercising, walking, yoga, coloring or use the Headspace app to meditate. If they are anxious have them use the 54321 technique to ground them. Also they can use the Square breathing technique to stay calm and focused.
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