One of the things that many students recognized when they began taking online classes as a result of the global health crisis is that even if they’re working just as hard to master the course content, they suddenly have a lot of time in their day.
That makes sense. A lot of a traditional school day is spent doing things beyond learning. It’s moving from class to class. It’s making small talk with teachers at the beginning of class. It’s listening to the teacher when they are suddenly struck by a question or idea that takes the class on a different path than what was planned. It’s chatting with friends as class is winding down.
We want to be clear: These are all really good things! These parts of a traditional school schedule are certainly not a waste of student time. Students learn important things about life, build social interactions, and develop deeper knowledge from these parts of a school day.
So what should teachers and school leaders do when those parts of the day are lost for their students? Give students the tools and ideas they need to recreate them! Here is a list of ideas we’ve shared with many of the students we’re working with, and that you might like to share with your students, too:
- Go on walks! Take five minutes every hour to get up from wherever you are working, pick up your stuff, and walk around for a bit.
- Call a friend! Take 10 or 15 minutes every few hours to give a friend a call. Mention something you’ve learned — they might just have an idea about it that you wouldn’t have considered.
- Meditate. There are several different apps out there to help you meditate and it’s a great way to start or break up your day and refocus. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration.
- Reach out to your teachers! Utilize office hours, if those are available, and email or messaging to dive deeper into the material. Even if you don’t think you have much to discuss, your teachers will appreciate hearing from you and just talking about class content in a general way.
- Take an extra class! If your school allows for it, you’d be amazed at the effect of taking just one extra class. By adding a little extra learning to your day, you’ll build stronger connections to other material and build a better understanding of the world. You’ll also soon find yourself “ahead of the game,” and that’s a really amazing feeling, because when life throws a challenge in your direction, you won’t be as stressed. You would be surprised at how much you can accomplish with an effective time management strategy!
If you are looking for alternative options to provide to your students to include original credit, course expansion, and dropout recovery Graduation Alliance can help. We partner with you to create alternative pathways for individuals who need flexibility and support to earn a diploma. To learn more about our services and to contact us, simply click here.