Teachers have been monitoring, adjusting and adapting their teaching and learning practice in this new era of remote instruction. One dimension of this adaptation is a new way of celebrating the students’ academic as well as personal achievements. Here are some ways to ensure that you recognize and praise not only the students but also your colleagues and site leaders while teaching and learning remotely online.
At the beginning or conclusion of a virtual class session, there is a perfect opportunity to praise the student(s) who have accomplishment something. There are multiple ways of delivering a shout-out. For example, the teacher can simply state: “Everyone, let’s congratulate Josue for convincingly writing the editorial piece about the need for solar energy. It was accepted for publication in our local newspaper." Then, the rest of the students can show their congratulations, either by noting something in the chat or by showing their applause in sign language.
Another way to acknowledge and recognize someone’s accomplishment is by communicating with the family through an official “Congratulations” email, note or a telephone call. Each family undoubtedly views their child to be very unique and special. So, when a respected educator affirms those convictions, it is very heart-warming for everyone. Perhaps the family members can be invited to join the virtual classroom meeting to be introduced while you read the special message aloud.
Encourage the students to track their own goals. When they have reached their goals, they can share those aloud during the designated class meeting times. By putting the ownership of their achievements on students, they are more likely to be invested in their learning, and they will be proud of their accomplishment(s). Moreover, you can encourage them to be on the lookout for their classmates who have accomplished a similar feat and/or assisted them in reaching their goal.
Praising Colleagues and Site Leaders
Celebrations should not be about our students only. It’s also critical that we applaud and recognize our teammates as well as our site leaders. These can be accomplished during professional development sessions or by sending a short email. A simple thank you note can restore one’s sense of purpose in teaching and/or leading and give a boost of joy to the recipient.
Teaching and learning remotely can be a lonely endeavor. By making sure that we are alert in recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of our students, colleagues and leaders, we renew not only their efforts, but we are also strengthening the culture of success in the school and classrooms.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.