End stage fright with Zoom one-on-ones
By DON STOLL
Teaching during the pandemic has taught us that in-person education is not better in every way. Teachers can end the stage fright that paralyzes many students when they are in front of their peers by moving some lessons that call for “class participation” into Zoom one-on-ones. Idyllwild Arts Academy’s ESL teachers, for example, have learned that students fear making English mistakes in front of their peers more than in front of their teachers. Teachers of other subjects have also found that students who are silent in a classroom full of their peers will often speak up with the class participation that teachers crave when these students are alone with the teacher on Zoom.
Improvement in student learning will be substantial in subjects where class participation is valued and sought, but, as countless teachers can attest, rarely achieved. However, moving some lessons that call for class participation into Zoom one-on-ones will also help communities reconnect more powerfully than before. This is because teachers will form more, and stronger, bonds with students who had been relatively quiet and who had seemed fearful of approaching their teachers.
Adopt & Adapt
Computers and internet access are required, but implementation would be swift in schools that have already had to move classes online because of the pandemic. The practice seems unlikely to conflict with many existing policies or curricula. The idea can be said already to have generated buy-in and interest among Idyllwild Arts Academy teachers, since a number of them plan to implement the practice even when there is no longer any apparent need for online instruction.