Finding the right level for kids is somewhat of an art. And when you find it, the context that makes it right may change. Therefore, keeping the lines of communication open with parents will be a big asset in supporting kids’ learning. As I was adjusting to my new school as the Gifted and Talented teacher a couple years back, I did not get to meet many of the parents of my students. My position had turned over for a number of years, and so many parents didn’t have much motivation to get to know the new-yet-again GT teacher.
I’m excited to be in this role at my school, to build some consistency with the kids and build relationships with the parents . Despite the limitations, there have been a few parents who have reached out to me to work with them in adjusting their child’s ScootPad content, and I am happy to do so. For example, over the summer, learning looks different than it does over the year. Kids don’t want to work as hard, and they often are in contexts that require less intensity.
Take Jonah: his mom wrote me asking to adjust his unit, allowing him to review over the summer as opposed to advance. Perfectly reasonable request that I was happy to oblige. For Sanjay, he was in Nepal last summer with his extended family while his mother was taking a program. Thus, his 11-year-old cousin was supporting his work on Scootpad. Knowing this, his mother requested a change in his unit content to allow Sanjay (and his cousin) to be successful. Small requests allowed me to better connect with the parents, to better serve the students, and thus to allow learning to best progress, even in the months away from formal schooling!
How do you support your students from afar?
Dr. Michelle Anthony