Let’s face it! Being in quarantine is hard on everyone. Now, imagine your child’s teacher wants to have zoom sessions with your child. If your child is older, this is a doable request. If you have a three-year-old, you are probably thinking “this teacher is nuts”.
The questions you are probably asking yourself are:
- What is my child going to learn in front of a computer screen?
- How am I supposed to get my child to sit still for that long?
- How am I supposed to make accommodations for this?
As an educator of young children, I hear you! I have asked myself those very same questions. Through lots of practice, and trial and error, I have become comfortable with remote teaching of three-year old children.
When deciding to teach on zoom, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Set a time frame that is convenient for you to zoom with minimal interruptions.
- Plan for what you will teach. It does not need to be an extravagant lesson plan. Keep in mind the amount of time you will have.
- Gather your materials such as books, age-appropriate games, a calendar, pen, and paper to make notes.
I typically select four books and have the children choose which story they would like to hear. Dice-counting games are easy to do with young children. Flash cards/pictures with colors, shapes, animals, and every day objects are good for communication and teaching colors and shapes.
- Email parents with your request. Include what you will be teaching and how you will interact with the children.
- Give the parents options of days and times. Have them choose the time frame that works best for them.
Keep in mind that most parents are still working outside the home. This means that they may need an evening time to participate. Be flexible and understanding. Parents only want what is best for their children.
Expectations vs Reality:
It is perfectly fine to have high expectations. You may have a list of subjects you want to teach. Keep in mind that when children are in their own home, they typically have a different routine. Be flexible with your lessons. If the child is not interested in what you are doing, then move on to the next thing. It is always good to have a break in-between what you are teaching. I usually have the child to choose a song they want to sing.
You may only get to read one book or go over two or three colors/shapes. The child may only want to talk about what they have at home. Use their interests to build on. Having a conversation is a great way to include what you want to teach. It is just a different way of getting the information out there.
Closing a zoom session:
I usually close with affirmations, music with movement, or just conversations.
When you do your zoom meetings, always remember that it is a way to keep children connected; to keep them learning. This is also a way parents get a chance to see what you are teaching, how you teach it, and how their child reacts to you, the teacher. This way of teaching is a great way to keep everyone involved in the child/ren’s education. Just have fun! If the children see you happy and having fun, they will have fun also.
Jammie Whale, Partners In Learning Lead Teacher