Success at a Distance

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. last spring, schools across the nation pivoted to distance learning. You probably can’t avoid it for the 2020-21 school year, so how can you make the most of it? These strategies have been road-tested by teachers and students, and they will help you be successful.

Tip #1: Go to “school.” Get up every morning and follow your routine. Put on clothes. Create a dedicated space to go to—a separate room or a quiet corner. If you’re easily distracted, try a lockdown app like Freedom.

Tip #2: Communicate! In distance learning, it falls to you to speak up when you need something. Talk in class, ask questions, and be honest about how you’re doing. If you need something from a classmate, ask more than one. Read your email every day!!

Tip #3: Take control. It’s no longer faster to ask the teacher to repeat instructions. Read instructions closely. Google stuff. Contact tech support instead of your teacher (you will have tech issues). Use a program like Focusmate to form study groups.

Tip #4: Get organized. Use a calendar or app like MyHomework; keep a daily task list; update it every morning. Tape assignments to the wall near your work area. Try to plan for a week’s work at a time.

Tip #5: Be patient. If you give yourself, peers, teachers, and parents the benefit of the doubt, you’ll feel less stressed overall. Forgive minor mistakes. Be flexible and go with the flow. You can do this!


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