In preparing for an upcoming session, I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of connecting with students this fall. It’s always important, yes, but this year it is more important than ever.
What did we lose during emergency online learning in the spring? Connections. Face to face connections. Those classes that were most successful in the online environment were the ones that were best able to maintain connections. But, as you well know, it was challenging, and certainly not the same as the in-person discussions, high fives, and hugs we normally enjoy.
During these challenging times, we must be even more intentional in connecting with our students while they sit before us: building trust, creating positive energy, establishing an environment of safety and security as best we can, helping students regulate their emotions, nurturing both the individuals and our class community, developing rigor.
Even now, a few weeks before the start of the school, we are not certain what the year will look like. In fact, we can count on much uncertainty as the year unfolds. Strong connections will carry us through the year, regardless of what it brings.