Many teachers and trainers feel a sense of responsibility for the pastoral care of our students and in a face-to-face class, we’re better placed to notice their mental state and we might be better able to provide the support and connection they might need. In these unprecedented times, students might be experiencing new pressures from different areas of their lives and the decreased contact with their usual support network might make it harder for them to talk about their feelings and reach out for help.
For students to keep their focus, do the work, and thrive in class, it is crucial that attention is paid to their wellbeing, but the obstacles of online learning (and asynchronous learning) might make it difficult for teachers to notice the issues students are facing and for students to seek support. Sometimes, this is about providing students with an avenue to share and talk about the issues they have having. Sometimes, this is about interesting and useful suggestions that can motivate students to maintain their well-being. And sometimes, this is about helping students see that they are not alone and that peer support is readily available.
This session looks at some practical ways we can support our students’ wellbeing and pay it the attention it deserves as we navigate through these difficult times together.
Chia Suan Chong is a writer, communication skills trainer and a teacher trainer. She is the author of Successful International Communication, and was English Teaching Professional’s award-winning resident blogger between 2012 and 2019. Currently based in York, Chia regularly conducts training online via webinars and also helps corporations to have more effective virtual communication and virtual meetings. Chia writes regularly for the British Council and their Learn English website and holds a DELTA and a Masters in Applied Linguistics and ELT.