On any given normal day, I am a teacher and a parent – separately. Right now, in addition to my job and like many of you, I am doing both roles as a teacher-parent due to school-from-home, or as I affectionally like to call it, “tele-schooling.” It is a hard balance for everyone. By now, most families have routines in place and spaces set up for virtual learning, but the question remains… How do we survive this new normal? 

A teacher to one is a teacher to all. From what I am hearing and seeing every day, I thought I would offer some tips for both students and parents as we work through virtual learning together. 

Tips for Virtual Learning 

Students: 

Focus on time management: A schedule with assignments due each day is key. Stick to a regular schedule and get the work done that day. Focus on time management so you don’t have to deal with late assignments adding up and getting overwhelming. 

Take brain breaks! “Recess” is important for all ages. Get outside, read an actual paper book, and get some exercise! 

Reduce surrounding distractions: Wear headphones and if possible, try to work in a comfortable, quiet place. This is especially important so students can engage in their online meetings and their online work. 

Parents: 

Foster Independence: Parents, now that you have helped your children navigate through some of the technology challenges, try fostering some independence. Let your children have productive struggle so their teachers can see what they know and are capable of. 

Help your kids stay social: Remember that social interaction with friends is still very important. Try to get your children in sports that are available or have social meets online for lunch time. 

Celebrate the wins: Last but certainly not least, celebrate the wins! Let your children know when they are doing a good job. Try and stay positive and have patience! This is new for them, too. 

Candice Berthiaume
Southern Maryland native Candice Berthiaume is an Instructional Resource Teacher for St. Mary’s County Schools. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Science in Human Resources Development from Towson University and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Education from College of Notre Dame. Candice lives in Calvert County with her husband and two sons.