6 Things You Need to Know as a New Virtual School Learning Coach
When a family decides to enroll a child in an online school, it’s not unusual for the person assuming the role of Learning Coach for the first time to feel a bit overwhelmed. Many Learning Coaches wonder how to prioritize their responsibilities in this new role. Others question how involved they should be in the learning process. If you’re experiencing any of these feelings, I’d like to reassure you that you can do it! The following tips are designed to assist you in getting started and building a strong foundation for fostering virtual learning.
- Successful Learning Coaches make organization their super power!
One of the most important responsibilities of a Learning Coach is to provide the organization and structure students need to excel. Kids of all ages benefit from a tidy learning space where supplies are easy to find. Help your child create a filing system for classroom materials and a calendar for tracking due dates, project deadlines, and activities.
- Time management is key.
Younger kids (and even some high schoolers!) require extra support with time management. This could include setting timers or alarms, helping establish deadlines, providing five-minute warnings before changing activities, or teaching them how to divide a large project into smaller, more manageable chunks.
- Create a balance of flexibility and routine.
While freedom and flexibility are hallmarks of an online school, many students benefit from a regular daily routine with times allotted for meals, lessons, recreation, and other activities. When the schedule varies, it may be valuable to display the day’s itinerary, so children know what to expect.
- Your child’s teachers can be your most valuable resources.
Online teachers are education professionals who are state-certified and fully qualified to teach in any setting. At Connections Academy, instructors also receive in-depth training in online instruction. You can turn to these caring professionals to discuss your child’s progress and comprehension, for insights into your role as Learning Coach, and for helpful motivational techniques. Instructors may also connect you to resources you may need, such as online references, guidance counselors, and other families.
- Clubs and activities can motivate and engage your child in learning.
Everyone loves having choices—that’s why some online schools offer assorted student clubs and extracurricular activities for students. Whether your young learner is interested in the arts, science, games, or helping others, he or she is sure to find a club that’s a good fit—and others who share the same passion. Exploring a shared interest not only encourages kids to pursue lifelong learning, but also builds lifelong friendships and a sense of community.
- Field trips and events help you get connected.
Online learning extends beyond the computer—and into life. Attending field trips is a great way for you and your child to apply the concepts learned to the real world—and to make face-to-face connections with other members of your online learning community. Not only will students benefit from social interaction, but so will you. Meeting other parents in person makes it easier to form friendships and make connections so you can compare notes and exchange ideas.
With these hints, the support of your child’s online teacher, plus a healthy dose of commitment, you’ll be well on your way toward becoming a fantastic Learning Coach—and enjoying the rewards of being part of your child’s learning and growth every day!
If you’ve been successful with online school and can offer any helpful hints for new Learning Coaches, please share them in the comments!