By Precious Adegunle, Natacha Costa, Carl McCarthy and Ali Raza Jeffri

10 December 2020 - 16:15

Pencil and sharpener on notepad
'Being creative contributes to a sense of purpose, which is at the heart of resilience.' Photo © Angelina Litvin used under licence and adapted from the original.

Educational professionals from Brazil, England, Nigeria and Pakistan share their tips for staying flexible while teaching virtually. 

Create a community 

Though it’s impossible to fully replicate the face-to-face classroom through online lessons, teachers can be there for students by creating a virtual community. 

The community will help students stay in touch with each other and with teachers, and build trust.

Having a sense of togetherness, despite the physical distance, is a great foundation on which to build personal resilience.

Rely on your support networks 

Connect with colleagues to share concerns, successes, and questions. 

At Teach for Nigeria, a national leadership programme, we realised most digital resources available to children were not designed for a Nigerian audience. 

We worked with colleagues to create a bank of our own resources, in indigenous languages, that our students could relate to. 

For example, to describe a 3D cube shape, we used images of Maggi seasoning blocks, which can be found in kitchens across Nigeria.   

The resources proved so popular that we raised over $2,500. We bought tablets and gave them to our students. 

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Take a collaborative approach 

Parents are now more important to student development. 

Acknowledge their role and work with them. That way, you can share the work and avoid burning out.  

Develop a vision of what you hope to achieve and stick to clear, measurable objectives. Refer back to those objectives when things get tough. 

Embrace innovation and creativity 

Not all students have access to the internet. In Pakistan, we tried to tackle this creatively. We paired students with internet access to those without, and created analogue learning packs. 

When things don’t go to plan, learn from them. Be objective and ask yourself why. When they do, celebrate your successes – no matter how small.  

The process of being creative contributes to a sense of purpose, which is at the heart of resilience. 

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This article is adapted from the webinar The challenges of remote learning and teacher resilience chaired by the British Council’s Rachel O’Riordan. 

Precious Adegunle is a teacher at Teach for Nigeria.

Natacha Costa is Executive Director of the Cidade Escola Aprendiz in Brazil.

Carl McCarthy is an executive headteacher for GLF Schools in England.

Ali Raza Jeffri is a fellow at Teach for Pakistan.

Follow PreciousCarl and Ali on Twitter.

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