This pandemic has been going on for longer than anyone expected, and it made the world switch to a whole new reality of virtual everything.
We’ve all done it––Zoom meetings, virtual happy hours, and FaceTime family game night. We’ve been working on mastering the art of video meetings for months and now we know not to bring our laptop to the restroom while the camera is on and we’re careful not to yell at our kid while the other one is on a Zoom call with his teacher.
You could say we’re all experts by now, but children didn’t spend the last few months playing home office. After what seemed like the longest summer ever, families are due for a refresh while we embark on our new distance learning modality.
So, without further ado, here are some do’s and don’ts of virtual school for children and families.
DO dedicate some time for eating before starting school and during their lunch hour. It’s a good idea to take a break from technology.
DON’T forget to turn off the mic if your kids are loud munchers and they must have their cereal while in session. Misophonia is a real thing.
DON’T let your kids stay in their pajamas all day, it’s important to change into fresh clothes for the day.
DO text your friend whose kid is in the same class as yours and tell her she looks great in her PJ’s after you saw her in the background during the math mini-lesson.
DO teach your children to be mindful of their teachers’ and classmates’ time.
DON’T monopolize the zoom call with your personal questions while the teacher is halfway through the lesson. The other 20 kids don’t need to hear your complaints.
DON’T sit your child with their back to a window, this will turn them into a silhouette and the teacher won’t be able to see them.
DO make sure their face is well lit. Good lighting is important especially when your face is on the screen while you’re helping your child log into the meeting.
DO let your child use a Zoom background (if it’s ok with their class policies) while on a call. It will hide the mess of a house you’re living in right now.
DON’T forget to remind them they shouldn’t run around the house with their devices while on a video call. They especially shouldn’t bring their iPad into the bathroom while you (or anyone!) are on the toilet.
DON’T let your kids spend too much time in the chat room while the teacher is explaining a new lesson.
DO tell your kids that the teachers, the principal, and the whole school district can read those chats. (Totally not true, but maybe they’ll refrain from saying something bad.) You would be surprised of the things kids say these days.
DO get your kid a set of headphones they can use during their meetings and remind them to mute themselves when they’re not talking.
DON’T yell at your kids/spouse/pets unless you want the whole class to hear. And remember, headphones and mute button are everybody’s friend, the teacher doesn’t need to hear your work meeting.
DON’T have them sit too close to the camera. Teachers want to see their whole faces, not only the top of their heads.
DO designate a work area for every child where they can have all their supplies handy.
DO remind your child to use proper manners and etiquette.
DON’T forget to laugh when things don’t go as planned.
DON’T forget we’re all adapting to this new virtual learning reality.
DO thank a teacher for having to deal with a barking dog, a crying baby, and a screaming mother, all while trying to do her job.