In 2020 after Covid-19 struck, Safe Schools convened fifteen students and teachers (by Zoom) to discuss ways to improve remote teaching and learn what lessons could be brought back to the classroom. When students were sent home for school, two unfortunate things happened. Some teaching techniques that may have worked in the classroom failed badly in an online environment.
A subtler but more profound effect was that social connections were broken and many students lost their motivation. Some of them engaged in more aggressive behaviors. Cyberbullying and teen suicide rates rose significantly in 2020. As the Centers for Disease Control noted:
“Students feel more connected to their school when they believe that the adults and other students not only care about how well they are learning, but also care about them as individuals. Students who feel connected to their school are:
- Less likely to carry weapons, become involved in violence, or be injured from dangerous activities such as drinking and driving or not wearing seat belts.
- Less likely to have emotional problems, suffer from eating disorders, or experience suicidal thoughts or attempts.”
If we can discover ways to re-engage and re-connect students, to show we care, we may be able to lower the rate of harm and violence or at least build their resilience. The video is ten minutes and discusses three ways to engage and motivate students – whether they’re online or in the classroom.