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Best Practices for Educators

Learning at home: best practices for educators

Communicating with Students and Families

Specify expectations for students and parents.

Be clear throughout communications around what students should be doing and what parents could do to support their child in meeting coursework and class expectations.

Be empathetic and flexible.

Remote learning may be new to many students, parents, and teachers, so patience and flexibility are paramount.

Communicate consistently and constantly.

Typically, the first order of business when classes are cancelled but must carry on virtually would be communicating your plan to your students.

You and Your Students

Schedule online "office hours."

Having a consistent time for students and parents to reach you adds a level of certainty in uncertain times.

Focus on what works best.

Teachers understand what works for their students based on age, content, needs, and technology access.

Less is more.

The quantity of assignments and instruction should focus on bigger ideas and less on discrete content.

Offer a variety of options and experiences.

Having options allows for personalization of the learning. Some ideas include simulations, project-based learning, or gaming.

Give explicit instructions and time expectations.

Create a plan for instruction based on your courses with explicit instructions, as well as the amount of time students should be working on specific tasks for each course, is important.

Encourage collaboration among your students.

Collaboration should occur through an online learning platform or through email or chats rather than in-person conversations.

Take care of yourself.

Teachers are the most important part of the system. Students need you, parents need you, and schools need you, so take care of yourself.


Become familiar with technology and tools.

Remote teaching and learning may demand the use of technology and unfamiliar tools. Engage with the unfamiliar and do your best.

Create distance learning experiences.

If you need to hold a lecture from a distance, there are synchronous (live/interactive) and asynchronous (pre-recorded) options to do so. Both options allow you to show the computer screen or other materials displayed on the screen. Check with your district/school for options.

Connect with other educators and the CDE for support.

Options for connection with educators include Facebook groups, Twitter, and Teacher to Teacher sites. Check the CDE website often for important updates on support that is offered.