Almost 22 states and a large number of large urban school districts have shut down all K-12 schools Teach Remotely to curb the spread of the COVID-19. Even Metropolitan school systems like San Francisco, Denver, Washington, San Diego, etc., have also chosen to close. In short, nearly 50,682 out of 124,090 schools are closed all over the United States.
With over 191 countries shutting down all their primary and secondary countries, there has been a sharp increase in the shift to remote learning. So, more and more schools are looking forward to preparing educators to work successfully in a remote setting. Here are three major factors schools should keep in mind while hiring teachers to teach remotely.
While hiring teachers to teach remotely
- Understand your teachers first
Let’s say you hired a teacher ‘X’ to provide paper checker to students. But, ‘X’ has a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. Wouldn’t it be more effective if the teacher could teach the subject relevant to her/his academic specialization? Hiring teachers who are tech-savvy is not enough. You have to know what subjects or skills the teachers are good at so that you can assign them, classes, accordingly.
Here’s how you can connect with the teachers:
- Conduct frequent surveys– Surveys are an excellent method for gathering a lot of new information about your new teachers. Surveys can help recruiters learn about the needs or interests of a teacher. They can also gain insights into the specific skills possessed by the teachers. That way, you can assign the right classes to your teachers such that the students can learn something valuable.
- Set up online conferences– Meeting in person is not really a feasible option anymore due to the pandemic. But, you can always set up virtual conferences. These conferences can encourage teachers to share even more about themselves. They can voice their concerns as well. In short, virtual conferences make the new teachers feel heard and valued.
- Be available to new educators– Make sure someone is always out there looking out for the teachers, especially in the remote setting. For instance, you can appoint an instructional coach or a mentor who would pop into a remote classroom and conduct an informal observation of the classroom.
Managing a school culture based on the Internet is no easy feat. But, with the right teachers, it will be a tad easier. So, you not only have to hire newly qualified teachers, but you have to retain them as well. Ensure that someone is available for your new teacher to access whenever they need help.
- Inspire, support and share
In a traditional classroom setting, it wasn’t possible to know what’s happening in other teacher’s classrooms. Who would loiter around the whole corridor? Thus, a maths teacher didn’t know how an English teacher took her class or vice versa. Now that all of us are working from home, it is possible to appoint a coach who would visit virtual classrooms and note down the key elements in remote teaching.
Let’s say you have appointed a new team of five teachers who would provide rate my paper with different subjects in a remote setting. You find out that each teacher has a unique and more effective method of approaching their students. So, you can record the class and share the video with the rest of the teachers to make sure everyone understands what learning looks like beyond their own subject area.
A little appreciation can help you go a long way. And teachers aren’t an exception to this. They will put more effort and dedication once their current effort is appreciated and even shared among other educators for inspiration.
Jordan Benedict, for example, has been sharing Distance Learning Walks via YouTube with the middle school teachers on the Pudong campus. He visits virtual classrooms and creates video walkthroughs for the whole division of teachers. That way, he not only motivates the existing teachers but also makes it easier for the new teachers to get familiar with the remote setting.
- Train the new teachers with a clear vision in mind
Remember, this remote teaching and learning culture is new to the majority of us. You can’t hire teachers and simply expect them to get better at everything all at once. You have to arrange proper training sessions through ongoing coaching and direct support so that teachers get familiar with this new setting.
Here’s what you can do to train the teachers:
- Direct coaching support– Direct coaching support is what schools need to get teachers ready for the virtual classroom. A mentor or a coach should be there with the teachers as they start their online classes on Zoom or whichever medium they are comfortable in. The mentor can observe and provide feedback as and when required.
- A robust coaching model– You may have to build a strong coaching model based on small actionable changes that have the potential to make a significant impact over time. Each coaching session should focus on a single action like giving clear and concise directions, establishing an online presence while instructing the students, etc.
Honestly speaking, your teachers may make some mistakes in the beginning since these are new to all of us. Thus, you need to provide them with the right support to know when they are making a mistake and help them rectify those mistakes and thrive in this new normal.
The world had come to a standstill due to the impact of the pandemic. However, different industries have started to adapt to this new normal. The education sector is no exception to this. As tons of schools have shut down to curb the spread of the virus, students have resorted to virtual classrooms and online teaching. Thus, schools are also hiring teachers who are well-versed with technology. Besides being tech-savvy, the new teachers should be trained and supported properly so that they can make the most of this remote classroom setting.
Author Bio: Martha Rose is a content creator at a reputed firm in the United States. She also provides assignment helpto students at Myassignmenthelp.com. Martha loves to read books and watch movies whenever she is free.