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Zooming into a new school year

As we start a new school year let's take a minute to remember what we learned last year and how we can improve this year. Bridging the digital divide that online learning can create and creating routines so that parents and children can function harmoniously can be very challenging. Read on to learn what music teacher, Dean Kravig has to say about staying productive and focused while learning online.


In this time of online learning into which we have all been thrust, I have found that there have been two ideas that have most helped me stay focused and productive. They are Ritual and Place (or Location). Let me explain:


People have long known the importance of rituals in the areas of culture, family and religion, but in the area of Zoom classes and online school it also helps to prepare us physically, mentally and emotionally for the learning process. Just the process of getting dressed as if going to school; setting up our computer or iPad; getting textbooks, paper and pen where they are accessible for use, and getting our water bottle filled – all of these help us prepare for learning. These rituals can actually become something we look forward to each day, because they are the beginning of something over which we can have almost complete control. In a world where everything seems out of control it will surprise you how these daily rituals will help to focus and prepare you for the task ahead.


The idea of “Place” also helps to give us a sense of stability, consistency, and control over our learning situation. It is best to have a dedicated location and set-up for your online “classroom”, so that the hassles of being moved from location to location doesn’t add to your emotional and physical stress. Over time, you will find that when you enter this place, your focus will be turned to school-related activities.

Online learning is not the ideal way to do school, but when we each do our part to maximize the educational experience, we can truly make the best of the situation in which we find ourselves.

And finally, I have found that choosing to have a positive attitude in every situation does so much to help my attitude and overall enthusiasm about what I am doing. If I choose to dwell on all the negative aspects of any situation, I soon find that my general attitude toward that situation becomes increasingly negative and unbearable. On the other hand, if I choose to focus on the positive aspects and speak of those, I reinforce those good things and my attitude becomes increasingly more positive.





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