How to Get Started With Online/Virtual Teaching During Covid in 10 Easy (and Even Fun) Steps

~ An article series written in ‘teacher speak’ by a former special ed adaptive/assistive technology specialist ~

The covid-19 pandemic has many teachers are teaching online for the first time – often with very little time to prep. If you’re one of those teachers, you’re probably scrambling to figure things out, deal with all the curriculum and instructional time requirements.

You’re worried about connecting with your students. You’re concerned about the effects this change to online school, and the stress of the pandemic is going to have on your students (and your mental health). You likely feel at least a bit isolated from your colleagues and miss the support of the teacher’s lounge.

You may be worrying about your own children’s virtual schooling and trying to teach while not having childcare. Your partner might also be #wfh. You may have a cat (like my Boo) that needs to interrupt everything you do – especially if you’re on the computer. Then there’s any number of other stressors that this “new normal” brings. … and in the middle of all this you have to figure out how the heck you’re going to get through this year.

This article series will help. As will chocolate, remembering to breathe, regular exercise (Yeah Peloton digital!) , and good coffee/tea – or the occasional glass of good wine in a “Don’t make me use my teacher voice” mug.

The Articles – Table of Contents

Links to the articles will be added as each one is published in the blog. I may also include an excerpt from each after this TOC.

i) Preface: How I Discovered Using Online Teaching Tools Could Help My Students

Introduction: The Outline – start here.

  1. Learn some of the basic online teaching tech lingo. 
  2. Order some ‘getting started with virtual schooling’ unit and lesson planning supplies 
  3. Look at your main curriculum expectations. Think in terms of unit planning.
  4. Reflect on what what teaching and learning resources you’d be using if you were teaching in person before covid, (and not online during a pandemic).
  5. Find a comfortable large workspace (the floor is great). Make sure your pets aren’t around – especially if you have cats! 
  6. Seriously consider and reflect on cross-curricular unit planning.
  7. Dream: If you had an unlimited budget and no school board restrictions, and  (*sigh*), and even a time machine, where would you like to take your students on field trips?
  8. Start exploring digital teaching and learning resources, and start figuring out which ones are appropriate and effective for you and your class
  9. Get to know your LMS (Learning Management System)- your online classroom/school, or choose one if your board/school hasn’t (argh!), and set up your classroom for the year.
  10. Finish unit and lesson planning, 

Epilogue – What’s next?

After You Survive Teaching Online During this Pandemic …