I have come to realize, that even in the virtual world, parental support helps – a lot! As I finish up week 6, I am happy to report that two of my students have completed their Algebra I requirements with a passing grade. The parents of both of those students were in regular contact with me throughout the summer. I am expecting another two students to pass my class. When teaching in the classroom, I could always tell which parents were going to be supportive of their children and our school. They were the ones that answered phone calls, visited the school and contacted me outside of PT conferences. The virtual classroom is not so different.
We talked a couple of weeks ago about how these students are already at an increased risk of failing these online credit recovery courses. They have already failed the course in their regular school environment and now they are trying to make up the credit in a completely new environment. The technology part of the class they got in the bag – some of them could have probably figured out how to create the courses themselves. However, this course requires them to manage their time and balance their personal responsibilities. It requires them to grow up – and some students just cannot do that on their own. In our last class meeting, we talked a lot about how these students need that extra live support. As much as I email these students and send out announcements reminding them that I am here for them, it is not the same as that someone who is there to give them encouragement to keep on truckin’.
I decided another part to my paper should include parental support and I began researching for articles. It was difficult, but I ended up finding a few good ones.
What Parents Need to Know About Online Learning
Gives parents tips on deciding if an online program or class is right for their child – and if their child is right for online learning.
5 Ways Parents Can Support Their Online Learner
Talks about how the parent can support their student and the importance of being there for their children, even if they think their student is mature enough to take an online course. It also talks about the Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler model of parental involvement that includes four basic actions: encourage, model, reinforce, instruct. (Kind of like an at home teacher!)
Student Self-Evaluation and Parent Support
I shared this one on Twitter. We talked about having AKLN requiring these students to have some sort of support system at home – either a tutor, teacher, or parent that takes the responsibility of making sure the student stays on track. I think AKLN should also have the students complete a self-evaluation – like this one – where the student can determine if they are capable of completing these courses before they begin putting in the effort. The self-evaluation should be an eye opener so the student – and parent – is aware of what they are getting into.
I could tell from the initial meeting with the students that there was a sort of shell shock as to what they were getting into. Some of them buckled down – some of them didn’t. Some parents were at that initial meeting, and have been supporting their children throughout the summer. As an educator, I wish all parents were this dedicated to their children’s future. As a parent, I’m shocked that some aren’t.