Caring for Students During Covid – My Five Top Tips! (by April Passi)

Many language teachers have been struggling to transfer communicative and interactive language classes to rigid online realities, with varying degrees of success, myself included. Teaching to 30 black squares on Zoom with the occasional thumbs-up emoji or a few students who do have cameras on does not really seem like the ideal environment for learning a language, let alone anything else. Back in March, I wrote a post about why in-person learning is so important, and while I have come to see that teaching online certainly has some benefits for both students and teachers, I am still staunchly “for” a return to in-person learning as soon as it is safe to do so. Now more than ever, I understand the importance of the classroom as a social space where students and teachers connect and create a sense of belonging. I teach college level students on a semester basis, so the relationships I build with my students are of a short duration, but they are important to me nonetheless – and, I believe, to my students. These days, as I peer curiously into the little black Zoom squares, I have a growing concern about the emotional and mental states of the kids behind the cameras.

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