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Top Ways to Support Student Independence

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

Hi friends!

Surprise! I've added a link sharing my new Easter "Boppin Bunny" Editable Word Cards with you for free! Keep reading to HUNT 🐇 for the link to get your FREE activity!

The past few weeks we have chatted about how to set up your and your students' teaching and learning spaces for efficiency and success. You can have the perfect office setup and all the tech to make your lessons run smoothly, but if you don't make your students independent from day one, you're going to struggle until the last day of school.

How do you support your students' independence when you're not in the same room? Virtual teaching does not allow us to look over their shoulders. 😊 So, let's chat about some top ways to promote independence in our students...

#1 Way to Support Independence: Having a Meeting with Yourself

In order for you to able to get your students to become more independent in their learning, you must be able to scaffold the directions that you give them. You have to look at each lesson from their point of view. Practicing with others is great, but you need to break down the lesson and "teach it" to yourself. Use two devices to see exactly what your students are going to see on their end. This way you will be able to know how to guide them through the lesson. Know which device your student will be using, and use that one as if you were your student. You might even catch areas where they might become bored and lose interest. 😉 If you can't get through your own lesson, how can you expect your students to make it through the session?

#2 Way to Support Independence: Prepare the Parents

I always suggest to my coaching clients to send a helpful welcome video to families. It's so much better for them to see and hear you than just reading a letter that they may or may not actually read.

I also like to send families a checklist and written directions that the student can keep close by in their learning space so they don't have to rely on their parents during lessons. With a written checklist within arm's reach, they will know what materials they should have and their meeting Zoom ID. This way if something happens during the session and they get kicked out, they can easily log back in without having to round up mom or dad. This is so good for building their self-help skills. With online learning, we don't have the classroom environment to help us build these skills so we have to use opportunities like these to help our students.

#3 Way to Support Independence: Have a Zoom Meeting

Zoom meetings are a fun way to start building a relationship with your student. It's up to you whether you want to charge for this initial meeting, but I coach my clients that it is essential for starting off on the right foot with your student. You want to make sure you go over behavior tips and strategies to establish yourself as the teacher from the beginning. Sometimes, teaching virtually can be too much fun for your students and you start to lose that adult control.

So, what should you do in the Zoom meet and greet? Start building your student's independence by showing them how to use the learning tools right away. Let them have fun on day one! 😊 Playing with the tools now will help curb their curiosity later on. If you skipped this part when you first began teaching online, go back and reset the situation.

Share the whiteboard and let them draw! Talk to your students during this initial meeting. My first meet and greet is when I really try to get to know my student. I want to know everything I can about them. 🐰 🥚 Grab your FREE Easter activity here!🥚🐣 I also want them to know how to use all of the tools that we will use during their lessons. This is important so you do not waste precious learning time, and the parents will appreciate this because they are paying you to teach their children. 😉

Stay tuned for more blog chats about tech tools and tool tips for effective learning, student relationships, and code phrases for behavior management.

Comment below, and tell me how you support your students' independence.

Have a great week!

Michelle @Read to Rewire

P.S. Searching for ways to teach online? Struggling to find clients to tutor? I've been in the same situation, and it took some time to figure out how to successfully support struggling students online. I've put together a free workbook that will show you 5 ways to become a successful tutor. Click here to download now.

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