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    19 Smart Hacks For Distance Learning That Teachers Swear By

    These tricks can definitely help.

    If you're currently teaching remotely, you might really miss your in-person classroom (and students) a lot right now.

    From screen burnout to technical difficulties, it can be really tough to be a teacher right now. That's why we've rounded up some of the internet's best virtual teaching advice, including some tips from the BuzzFeed Community. Here's what you can do:

    1. Try to focus on things you *can* control, versus how your school district is handling things.

    2. Be real with your students in admitting that is a challenge for you, so they know what to expect.

    Sandra Oh as a stressed-out teacher on SNL.

    3. Carve out time to let the kids socialize before and after class.

    The first and last 10 minutes of online class are sacred. This time has been carved out specifically to TALK and build positive relationships with my scholars. We listen, laugh, and love in this space. #RelationshipsMatter #distancelearning

    Twitter: @TeachMrReed

    "I (and my co-teacher) end up doing a lot more projects online than in person. The kids end up being more engaged and sometimes they create bonding opportunities within families. We also allow students in a bit early to socialize and sometimes will let them stay late to socialize if we have time." —skipnees

    4. Use red and green cards so your students can wordlessly wave you down in a Zoom class without disrupting everyone else.

    A stack of red, yellow, and green cards

    5. Record all the times you're directly teaching to the class so no one misses anything.

    View this video on YouTube

    "I teach online and in-person at the same time. To say I am overwhelmed is a huge understatement. One thing that helps me the most is making videos of the direct-teach part of the lesson and posting them for everyone. You can use Screencastify and turn it into an EdPuzzle, put the videos in a slides presentation, or simply post them in Google Classroom. It gives me more time to focus on my kids, virtual and in-person, while ensuring that nobody misses anything because it's all recorded where kids have access." —flwrmm

    6. Use ed-tech to your advantage and incorporate pre-made slide decks into your curriculum.

    The Nearpod dashboard.

    7. Create a setup that's comfortable for you — and keeps you fully visible to your students.

    8. Use a document camera to easily show and mark up text in real-time.

    A document camera

    9. Know how to mute students (when you need to!) in lectures and small discussions.

    The cast of SNL on a Zoom call

    10. Provide your students with different options to submit their work for grading.

    Daveed Diggs playing a teacher in the film Wonder

    11. Stick to your normal, in-person schedule, especially in the mornings.

    Pro-Tip for Remote Learning: 1. STICK TO A SCHEDULE -If you are used to waking up at 7:00 a.m. on your in-person days, continue this when you are doing remote learning. Use the extra time in the morning to get ahead of school work and contact teachers 👌🏼

    Twitter: @coachsakellaris

    12. If possible, Zoom from your actual classroom for a touch of normalcy.

    13. Encourage parental figures to designate a space at home just for learning — ideally one that involves a desk or table.

    A student's at-home desk with sensory chair.

    14. Use inclusive language, especially when you're not sure about every student's home life or background.

    My 5 year old’s kindergarten teacher doesn’t refer to the kids’ mom or dad (or even parents) - she refers to “your grown ups.” It’s such a kind, inclusive way to assume nothing & include all sorts of caregiving & family arrangements. I love it 😊

    Twitter: @nursekelsey

    15. If you notice a student is missing some assignments and it's starting to become a pattern, shoot their caretaker(s) a quick email.

    16. Find low-effort ways to keep students engaged before class starts, like asking them for "boring" facts.

    My new favorite thing is asking my class to share a boring fact about themselves (way too much pressure to share an interesting fact). Today I shared I don’t like mayo on sandwiches. One student puts both socks on before putting on shoes. Another eats a pound of turkey each day.

    Twitter: @daviddeweil

    17. Make sure your kids (and their grownups) know they still need to treat this like a classroom — all the normal rules of respect apply here.

    18. Adjust your grading standards in general — because this is hard on students, too.

    Reminder that kids are not "falling behind" academically during these crazy times. Standards, benchmarks, and accountability measures are all arbitrarily created by schools and can just as easily be readjusted as needed.

    Twitter: @stumpteacher

    19. Lastly, give yourself the space and permission to relax when you can.

    What's helped you most when it comes to teaching or learning from a distance? Share in the comments! ✏️

    *Note: Some answers have been lightly edited for length or clarity.