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Addressing Your Student's Social Learning Loss Post-Pandemic

How does your school navigate the post-pandemic social learning loss syndrome? Many schools have gone through hell trying to adopt intervention measures to assist students dealing with such loss. The situation’s particularly desperate in heterogeneous American classrooms with students from different backgrounds. Worse still, certain much-hyped government programs-like Response and Intervention measures- have produced mixed results. 

So, what’s the way forward? How can teachers and administrators address their students’ social learning loss and help them catch up post-pandemic? Here are a few tips on addressing your student’s social learning loss post-pandemic.

Adopt Regular Formative Assessments

To solve a problem, you must identify it. In the post-pandemic period, don’t jump to standardized tests too quickly. Instead, try incorporating creative techniques into instruction sessions. Here’re some lively ideas on how to do that:

  • Nearpod: Use a poll, draw, and collaboration board that ensures students have a low-stakes way to share what they learn; ultimately, it helps everyone integrate into the learning system.
  • Time to Climb: Try to gamify the quiz experience and engage your students in a quick, fun assessment. You can access hundreds of built-in lessons with a simple library search.

Foster Strong Classroom Relationships

A culturally responsive classroom depends on strong relationships. Moreover, a strong classroom relationship is crucial in addressing learning loss, but how can you foster these relationships? Consider the following tips:

  • Ice Breakers: Using small ice breakers or similar games can aid your students in getting to know each other. The best part is that most ice breakers are low prep, offering a large reward. The resources are ideal for remote and in-person learning.
  • Helpful Habits SEL and Gratitude Jar mini-lessons: Provide your students daily tips and resources to improve different areas of their lives. These are fun, quick, and engaging resources to establish a unique learning environment.

Embrace Tutoring Systems

For effectiveness, it’s advisable to adopt one-on-one tutoring. Some use one-to-two tutoring to help kids who’re falling behind to catch up. In any case, your school district must find innovative ways to pay for this relatively expensive approach.

Some researchers advise teachers to use volunteers and paraprofessionals to tackle the situation effectively. Could you start with slightly larger tutoring groups and progressively pair them down? Experience shows this can be a highly effective approach.

Frequently Adapt Your Instruction

Do you teach a classroom with diverse students of different identities and abilities? Be flexible! In this scenario, you likely need to re-teach the material taught in the previous year.

In some cases, you may need to teach a specific class segment without making any student feel alienated; of course, you don’t want to put anyone on the spot, either!

So, how can you handle such situations? Try these strategies:

Use the Whiteboard Feature: You must make your instruction fit each student’s needs. One effective strategy is to present somewhat familiar information differently. The Whiteboard feature helps teachers model for specific learners at any point in a live session.

Simply launch a virtual whiteboard for the entire class to see. This strategy is particularly effective when your students struggle to internalize the concepts taught.

Use Quick Launch: Teachers can’t always anticipate when they’ll likely need a quick check for understanding. Using this strategy, you can formulate an Open-Ended Question on the fly or Draw it at any point.

Create New Targets

Teachers and administrators can come up with new learning targets for their classes. A renowned education researcher, Lisa Westman, advises,

“You can devise new learning targets by focusing your planning on formative assessment and success criteria. Teachers can come up with new ideas on the vastly challenging post-pandemic learning environment. They need creativity premised on specified learning standards and objectives.”

Try the following target setting techniques:

  • Conduct student interviews to set targets unique to the student
  • Review rubrics that may be outdated; seek input from students
  • Provide example work to set a benchmark for students

Stay Positive and Count Your Gains!

It’s essential to count your gains, as well as your losses, post the pandemic. John Hattie, another education expert, says, 

“Keep in mind the areas students and teachers have significantly thrived in (such as self-directed learning). Focus on how your school can benefit from those skills and build on them.”

Undoubtedly, when teachers, administrators, and the school community focus on the post-pandemic period’s positive elements, this can lead to unexpected gains in our student's education.

Written by John O. Ndar
Education World Contributor
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