Published for the Arts Based School Community
August 20, 2020
How We Do It and Why
By Mary Siebert
“Not muting your mic is the new ‘reply all'." - Dani Burger (for adults)
“Unmuting is the new ‘blurting’." - Me (for kids)
There are about two billion (rounded down) articles on the internet about how to Zoom effectively and with good manners. Zoom Etiquette is a hot topic because people are soooo bad at it. I know of course that YOU don’t need this, (...ahem...) but maybe your friend or, certainly your student does. Please check through these points for your whole family, to make learning and school informational meetings more effective and to preserve your own excellent reputation! It’s easy to forget that you’re not alone in your home when you’re Zooming. You’re on camera, baby!
Be on time for your session! Or better: a minute early. You may be kept in a waiting room until the lesson begins. If you’re late, you’ll be in the waiting room until the teacher can stop to let you in.
Why: It interrupts instruction for the teacher to stop and let people into class (especially if the teacher is dancing 8 feet away!) Besides, when in the history of education were you not expected to be on time for class??? (But...better late than never. Come on in, if you’re tardy.)
MUTE your microphone, when you, the grown-up, enter the Zoom meeting. Click on the icon of a mic in the lower-left corner of your screen. A diagonal line appears. You’re muted.
Why: If your dog barks or you burn your finger in the kitchen and say something you didn’t mean to say, it’s still all in the family.
Turn off your video if you, the grown-up, are on a very populated informational Zoom, unless you’re asked to show yourself for an activity or a hello.
Why: It helps Zoom function better if videos are off in a large setting.
Dress for success. Help your student get ready for learning by being appropriately dressed and seated in a dedicated space for schoolwork.
Why: Preparing your body will prepare your mind, too. Plus, we don’t want to be distracted by your light-up Spidey jammies or the dog on your bed. We’ve got stuff to do!
Help your child learn to adjust sound and video, as instructed. Please review how to turn video on and off, and to unmute when needed, and re-mute when they are done speaking.
Why: So your child can fully participate in learning, and so the teacher can best deliver instruction to the whole group with minimal interruption.
If you want to say something, raise your hand. If you’re on a small group video, you can raise your actual hand. Or, click on the little “raise hand” icon at the bottom center of your screen. You can also type something into the chatbox...more about that later.
Why: If you “call out” a question you’ll disrupt the sound and nobody will be able to understand you or the teacher. This is a great time to practice the good manners of hand-raising and not blurting!
Look good! Arrange yourself (or your student) in front of the camera so you are well-lit (it helps to face the light) and your face is visible at eye level. Check with your student to make sure they remain visible through the class. If you or your student must leave for some reason, turn off your video for a moment and turn it back on when you return.
Why: We love seeing you, but we prefer not to join you in the bathroom. Share your dance moves, sure...but at the right time and place, please!
Use the chat room as directed by the teacher. It’s easy for a student to lose focus on the lesson and send their friends messages instead. Please assist your teacher by checking your student’s chat room to assure that they stay on task. Chat should be used for questions or responses to the teacher.
Why: Because that’s the rule!
Counselor’s Corner - Amanda Sullivan
Welcome to a new school year! Although we are starting out remotely, all of us at ABS are committed to doing everything that we can to help this new type of learning feel as inviting and “normal” as possible, and that certainly goes for counseling. As Mr. Ertl and I have said previously, we are still here to meet the needs of your children, and online counseling (or “teletherapy” as it is now known) can be highly successful.
Just like when we are in the school building, most of our online sessions with students are twenty-to-thirty minutes, as this is typically a good length of time to keep students actively engaged.
Here are seven tips to help make online counseling more successful for your students:
- Create a quiet, private space for the child to meet with Mr. Ertl or me. The more privacy a child has, the more he or she will feel comfortable talking.
- If you would like to meet with us as well, please let us know ahead of time so we can prepare. If your child prefers to meet with us alone, please respect that privacy. We can still meet with you, but it is also important to honor the child’s need for confidentiality.
- Make sure siblings stay out of the way! It is very hard to speak with a student when a sibling keeps interrupting.
- Please encourage your child to stay in one place when meeting with us online. It is very distracting and difficult to have a successful meeting when the student keeps moving around in the space. A laptop is preferable for meeting, but if a phone or tablet is all you have, please talk with your student beforehand about the importance of staying still while meeting on Zoom, or purchase or improvise a stand to keep your phone or tablet in one place.
- If your child is fidgety during online meetings, have a selection of fidget toys available for Zoom meetings. Silly putty, fidget spinners, squeeze balls, Legos, or even coloring books help to keep your child focused.
- Have a pencil and paper nearby for students to write things down if needed.
- Check your internet connection! If it is weak, Zoom calls tend to get interrupted a lot, which makes for a very difficult session. Having a phone nearby is always handy to use as a back-up just in case your internet connection won’t stabilize.
Teletherapy has been shown to be just as effective as face-to-face counseling in most situations, and we look forward to working with your children this year! If you would like to set up an appointment for your child, please email Amanda Sullivan or Scott Ertl.
Activity Fee-Waived for 2020-21 School Year
In a typical year, each family is asked to pay $30.00 per year per child to help cover the costs of our extensive curriculum enhancement activities, including field trips and art trips. Due to the COVID pandemic, our school will not be participating in field trips so we will not be collecting an activity fee for the 2020-21 school year.
Crosby Scholars is still going strong! For 6th-8th graders who are interested in joining, please take a look at this video to learn more. Please contact Amanda Sullivan, if you are interested in joining, or click here to apply.
Community Resources during Remote Learning
Several organizations are offering programs to support families during Remote Learning. Please contact the organization directly with any questions.