Ways to make working and teaching from home a success

Coronavirus

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Now that we are getting the full picture as to what working from home while teaching from home looks like, we want to make sure you have a plan in place to get through the next couple of months.

Katie Collett reached out to Robert Jamison, Coordinator for the Office of Student Support Services for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. He said first, families need to go in with the understanding that this is not really an easy process.

“It’s going to be difficult at times, hopefully not the entire time, but if everyone could go in with that general understanding of flexibility, and a little bit of grace, I think that will take them a long way. The biggest piece is going to be the relationship and emphasizing the fact that a parent who is engaging in this learning process as an educator, is showing how much they care about their child and the fact that they love them enough to want them to continue their learning is a conversation worth having within that family dynamic,” Robert says.

He also recommends designating a specific work space.

“Designate a specific work space within the home where you are able to get work done and establish clear parameters and rules and expectations for what is to be done in that location. Keep it away from screens so to speak, (not counting) the laptop or device that’s being used for the education, but definitely have it in a quiet spot where you can really disengage and focus on the task at hand, so students know that they are entering the zone, so to speak, of learning.”

Robert goes on to say, “Make sure that there’s a schedule each day or each week. One that there’s some expectation, routine, students know what to expect, families know what to expect. And you can give reminders as you’re transitioning in, or transitioning from, that learning space.”

Robert says it’s also very important to understand your child’s attention span.

“Allow time for movement. Allow breaks. With the attention span being about twice your age, sometimes three times your age, you’re really only looking at, for a six year old, only about a 12-18 minute attention span, so make sure that you are focused for that amount of time, but then build in time for breaks. Lastly, everyone needs to come in with the understanding that sometimes there’s just too much in a given day, that you need to take a break and just walk away from the work and come back to it when everybody is ready to engage.”

More from Jamison: School counselors work to help students with COVID-19 challenges

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