Dear Academic Approach Families:
I definitely miss meeting my students in person. I miss greeting them with a handshake or a high five, sitting down across the table and warming up to our session’s topic first with some relevant small talk:
“How did that AP US History paper go?” “How was the dress rehearsal?” “I heard you guys beat [insert rival school]! I already rubbed it in to one of my students from there.”
Social Distancing, Staying Positive, Maintaining Relationships
It’s important to remember that healthy communal aspects of our students’ lives have been disrupted. Creative outlets for self-expression or channeling nervous energy through group activity simply and suddenly ended. Social distancing invariably promotes social isolation. Given what our students are experiencing, it’s important to maintain relationships and continue to cultivate them.
Education isn’t just about academics. It’s also about emotion and connection. My own children have received email from former teachers just checking in, reminding them of great experiences they enjoyed with warm mentors, who still care about their progress and success. This is a time for teachers, coaches, and other mentors to reach out to students – new and old – to encourage and connect.
We’re trying to cling to the basics of mentoring as we Zoom into our students’ lives now. Small talk still matters, because it shows you care and you are familiar. It establishes a continuity of shared experiences when so much right now is discontinuous.
There are still AP US History papers to inquire about. And while the sporting events and rehearsals have ceased for now, there are books to recommend, board games to suggest, and important academic questions to answer that are relevant to the student’s specific needs.
Additional Resources Coming Soon
Stay tuned for additional resources for both educators and students on navigating the e-learning world we now live in. And if you have any recommendations for books, board games, or academic reflections, send them my way.
Matthew Pietrafetta, Ph.D., Founder & CEO