By Chrissy Khachane, Head of Lower School
This week our students have had their first experience with a broader offering of synchronous (live) lessons across disciplines.
We recognize some of these sessions will unfold more smoothly than others as students become familiar with the expectations for various teachers. Just as a teacher establishes routines and rituals at the beginning of the school year, our teachers are establishing the rules and expectations for their virtual classroom space this week. It is in this spirit that I offer some tips and information about synchronous learning.
1. Virtual Classroom Experiences will Look Different from One Another. One of the many aspects of Foote that makes our community special is the autonomy and passion our teachers have in the classroom. This important component of our community will continue to shine through during distance learning, and for this reason there will be a variety of approaches and structures to how a teacher organizes and structures his/her virtual classroom. Please reach out to your child's teacher (including specialists) if you need support.
2. Etiquette Guidelines for Synchronous Lessons: We know parents are juggling a tremendous amount at home during school/work days. We ask that you follow the guidelines below because we have found them to be helpful for getting students into the best frame of mind for learning.
- Have your child dress in school attire.
- Students should not be eating or snacking during live sessions.
- Have your child use the bathroom before the start of the session.
- Provide your child with a consistent place to sit for live session.
- Upon entering a group lesson mute the student and pin the teacher.
3. Connecting with Teachers. With the start of synchronous lessons I would like to reiterate that teachers may not be available to respond immediately to emails. Teachers are committed to responding in a timely manner, which can be expected to be similar to a typical day on campus. Likewise, please reach out to the specific subject area teacher with questions for a particular discipline. If you have a tech question or issue that requires attention please email our Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Prioritizing Assignments and Flexible Scheduling. We recognize that families need to prioritize when children can participate in live lessons for a variety of reasons. Classroom teachers will continue to identify which assignments are a priority each day and specials teachers will record synchronous sessions and post them on their Google Classrooms so families can watch them later if they need to.
Thank you for your continued partnership in distance learning!