Student-owned classroom routines and structure create a safe space for learning. How can we bring the same sense of structure and safety to remote learning? Consider these four practices for developing empowered leadership routines for ourselves, students, and families.
1) ESTABLISH VISION. Have we created a vision of what we want our work-and-learn-at-home time to look and feel like? Have we invited students to co-create our virtual classroom vision? Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind can help us define outcomes for this week, month, and year.
For Myself: Connect with roles, goals, and your personal mission statement. Visualize a successful week ahead. You are dedicated, capable, and are rocking this unprecedented challenge!
For Students: Engage the class in imagining what a successful end of the week, month, or school year would look like.
For Families: Invite students to share the class-created vision for school-at-home routines with their families. Ask them to hold weekly conversations with caregivers about how to support them in their learning.
2) PRIORITIZE TIME. How much time have we dedicated to putting first things first? Habit 3 teaches us to spend time on what is most important and plan each week before the week begins. Decide priorities, then plug them into a daily schedule. Close out each day or week by reviewing progress and readjusting the schedule if needed.
For Myself: Are you working from home while also managing family responsibilities? Draft a weekly schedule that is a win for all of your roles, “me-time” included. Then, use courage and consideration to have a Win-Win conversation with colleagues and family members about priorities and possibilities.
For Students: Begin each week by setting goals with students individually, in small groups, or as a class. Assign the Daily Routine Planning Tool for students to complete independently, with their virtual Accountability Partner, or with a family member. Reflect on progress in small groups at the close of each week.
For Families: Encourage caregivers to create family routines using the Daily Routine Planning Tool. Voice and choice are powerful motivators.
3) OPTIMIZE SPACE. Does our work environment inspire productivity and boost energy? An organized, clean, and comfortable work environment can do just that. With family members competing for space, Wi-Fi, devices, and attention, be open to creative solutions.
For Myself: Designate a work-from-home space that is well lit, organized, and as free from distractions as possible. Equip your workspace so the supplies you need (for example, pencils, pens, sticky notes, and a power adapter) are close at hand.
For Students: Work with students to define the criteria for an effective learning space. Have them design a learning space for themselves that meets the criteria, with family budget in mind, and then share a picture of their set-up with you.
For Families: Caregivers may naturally position children at a desk or table to participate in remote learning. Encourage them to watch Your Seat of Choice and Flexible Seating; Flexible Learning for ideas for using seating to increase student motivation and productivity.
4) CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY. Are we struggling with making a routine work? Successful routines and positive habits don’t happen overnight. Be open to reflection, leaning on others for support, and making adjustments until the routine feels right.
For Myself: Are you having a difficult time managing or committing to an aspect of your routine? Find an Accountability Partner to support your efforts.
For Students: Invite students to connect with a class Accountability Partner and keep a scoreboard to track how well they are sticking to their new “leaderized” routine.
For Families: Invite families to connect with you and reflect on their progress in developing routines. Challenging times are opportunities to create partnerships and synergy.
We invite you to continue building your classroom’s leadership environment virtually, with our learning resources that link empowered leadership routines with Habit 3 (also available as a Google Sheet).
The Daily Routine Planning Tool can help students and their families create empowered leadership routines.
Use these lesson starters and links to resources for students, families, and teachers: Empowered Leadership Routines and Habit 3 (also available as a Google Sheet).