Our connections and our relationships with our students are so important. Sometimes we are unaware of the impact we are making or how vital our continued presence is in their lives every day.
One of the mandates of my school is to try to improve students’ attendance. This in itself comes with some ups and downs. Last week was a crazy week in my classroom. Monday and Tuesday progressed as normal, with some students attending but a few missing both days. On Tuesday night, our city was covered with a blast of freezing rain. This lead to our public transportation for students being cancelled on Wednesday due to safety concerns. Now, many of our students rely on public transportation to get to and from school every day. This resulted in no students coming to school on Wednesday in my class.
Thursday and Friday I was away from school and due to the absences I hadn’t had a chance to inform my students that I would be away. Now, even though my students often miss, I haven’t missed a day all year. Many of them showed up Thursday and Friday completely out of sorts that I wasn’t there. Some of them hadn’t seen me for over a week.
This has prompted me to thinking about how a digital connection can help with some of that anxiety when I’m unable to be in the classroom. I know that I have to miss two weeks of school in April. Before that time I would like to experiment with some apps and new technology that will allow me to better communicate with my students digitally while I am away.