My district has been in distance learning since August. One apprehension I have had with my new position (Tech TOSA) is not being able to connect with students. How wrong I was.
This past week, I had a few different interactions with students. Student A is a former student. They have had a hard time with the distance learning and personal issues. I have been encouraging them all year. This week they contacted me to let me know they got a B+. They were very excited! As a result, they get brownies. Anything to encourage them to keep working.
Then there are two sisters from my previous site that celebrate Diwali. Remembering how excited they were to share information about their holiday last year, I made sure to wish them a Happy Diwali celebration this year. The sisters were excited and shared pictures of their hands with me. Their mom does it for them each year.
Then there was the student in a class that I regularly assist in. This student is not a fan of communicating at all. I met them virtually in this class this year. They independently reached out in Google Chat (school account). This is HUGE for them. I contacted the teacher to let her know. We both celebrated!
My point to all this is that virtual, face to face, or hybrid model, we can connect with students. We don’t need to limit ourselves to those in our classroom. We can keep in contact with former students. We can encourage them and celebrate them. We can make new connections with students.