Students learn positive pandemic life skills from on-line learning

Positive Pandemic Lessons for Students

In spite of all the negativity that transpired in 2021, I have decided to welcome 2022 with hope and optimism.  Students are mostly back in school and solidly in the recuperation phase from online school.  Given that the data says students lost up to a year of learning it’s hard to find a bright side. However, there were some valuable pandemic lessons learned if we just look at it from a different perspective. So let’s give it a go.

I think we can all agree that quarantine and online learning were challenging for all students no matter their age or where they were in their academic journey.  The most prevalent thing we witnessed as academic coaches was students who lost motivation.  They turned off their cameras during class, stopped doing their homework, and basically checked out.  It’s important to keep in mind that we coach students who struggle with executive functions. They thrive on routines and schedules putting them at an even greater disadvantage.  However, there were some interesting and surprisingly positive developments as well.

Students who disliked going to school found a new appreciation of being at school and having in-person access to their teachers, who they actually missed. Along that vein, technology was used for just about everything so students had to communicate with teachers using email. They needed to be patient and persistent as responses were not immediate.  It was harder to get help if they didn’t understand something in class so at times students had to use creative problem-solving skills to look for help elsewhere. This might have included asking older siblings and/or parents, “googling”, using YouTube videos, asking friends, and, of course, reaching out to their academic coaches. In other words, they had to adjust to a whole different learning world.

My optimism is reflective of the beneficial qualities gained during 2021, including greater resiliency, creative problem solving, increased persistence, a new appreciation for school and teachers.  Many other subtle shifts in thought processes and appreciation for the learning process as well.  Of course, not all students experienced improved life skills but, if you reflect a bit, you will likely find glimmers of blooming life skills, and that is a beautiful thing.

Read more about the effects of the pandemic in the ACA Blog The Lingering Effects of Online Learning

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