Going back to school is a big adjustment in the most mundane of times. When the threat of the coronavirus is at the school’s doorstep, that stress ratchets up a few notches. If you’re a teacher, you need a few more tools to keep kids ready to learn. These innovative ways to boost student morale should do just that.
Based on how different states made decisions on schooling, some students are in-person while others are online. In-person activities have many physical distancing restrictions, but there are innovative ways to up student morale despite this.
Start a Recycling Program
To begin, think about ways to fill your class’s time while staying apart. Staying active limits disruptive downtime and distracts students from stress. One such potential inclusion is a recycling program. This could even be a school-wide initiative. Working towards a common goal throughout the day is engaging, and you can boost school recycling by, among other things, making a competition out of it.
Do Weekly Check-Ins
Meanwhile, make a point of taking your class’s (or individual students’) stress temperatures each week or so. The creativity here comes in how you check on them—a thumbs up or thumbs down works, but you can explore other mediums. Students can articulate their feelings by coloring a picture, writing a poem, or picking a song to share with the class.
Kids doing school from home are harder to connect with and help out. That’s why break-out social peer talks and virtual activities are key.
Have Break-Out Sessions for Peer Interaction
One of the biggest downers about virtual school is that kids can’t interact with friends like they would in-person. To remedy this some, figure out how to host break-out sessions in which small groups get some social time. While taking the time out to have these is valuable, make sure you have some means of supervising students (depending on their age).
Create Virtual-Enabled Activities
Our last piece of advice is to design your own fun activities to do. Scavenger hunts give kids a chance to compete and get active, show and tells allow them to bring their home and their possessions to the class, and older students could even put together a website together. The opportunities for connection and morale boosting are out there—you just need to find them.