Communication is key!

Source: Hryshchenko, Volodymyr. Unsplash, 2019.

The fact that you are physically removed from your teachers and classmates has changed the way you communicate with them. In fact, communication is now more vital than ever, particularly as teachers find it more difficult to pick up on your non-verbal language (teachers can often spot a confused-looking face from a kilometer away) and it may take longer to check over your work (as we can't lean over your shoulder and see what you are doing!).

So, however you communicate...make sure you communicate!

With teachers

Communicating with your teachers is vital. Do it often, and do it honestly. Try and follow these three tips:

  • Sooner rather than later - communicate before a deadline, not after. Ask for help immediately, rather than waiting.

  • State the problem honestly - tell your teachers what is going wrong, and what help you need. Honestly also means not blaming something else if, deep down, you know the issue is down to you.

  • Turn feedback into dialogue - when a teacher gives you feedback, don't just accept it passively. Act on their advice, reply to them, and ask them if the changes you have made are correct.

With classmates

We've discussed communication with your peers during collaborative work, but there may be other times you could consider contacting them:

  • To arrange study sessions.

  • To ask for their help or to offer help.

  • To remind them of deadlines or a task that needs completing.

You can't do this in the classroom or corridor, but you can drop them a message via your chat tool or even via WhatsApp (or something similar) if you have their number.

With parents/guardians

Don't forget to keep your parents in the loop. They will also be nervous about the impact of remote schooling on your success, and they won't feel any better if there is radio silence at your end. Make sure you share your successes with them as well as ask for help or let them know when you are struggling. My experience has been that all parents have committed to help their son or daughter when they realised there was a problem - even when their son or daughter was convinced that 'They don't care'!

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