5 Tips to Prepare Faculty & Staff for Coronavirus School Closure & Distance Learning

Mar 24, 2020

Hey friend, 

As we enter into another week of the health crisis and economic uncertainty, many more schools are closing and embarking on distance learning. 

Whether your school is currently closed or preparing to in the near future, these 5 tips will help you support your faculty and staff with your transition and mastery of distance learning. 

Let's chat about how to set up your faculty and staff up for success during school closures. 

1. Test Your Systems

Now is not the time to hand over your distance learning tech to faculty and staff and say "good luck!"

Our faculty and staff learn at different rates and it's up to us to test out every platform and know how to use it. We're their resource during this time of transition!

Whether it's Zoom, Google Docs, or Youtube, they all require a learning curve.  If our goal is for our faculty and staff to be successful, then we'd better work out the kinks prior to handing it over instead of finding out on the first day of distance learning (or worse, on week 8!).

2. Document Processes

Let's be real. In every school, there are teachers that shy away from technology. They're uncomfortable with using it and don't understand it. That's ok. 

Let's make it easier for faculty and staff by writing it down in a step-by-step format so they can refer back to it in the future.

The goal is to keep your faculty and staff moving forward during this closure and if they don't have step-by-step instructions on how to use technology or other tools, it's going to slow them down. 

3. Teach Video Best Practices

Think about this...our most reticent faculty members have been suddenly forced by school closures to embrace video. They've been shying away from it for years and now we're like, "here it is...good luck!"

Give them the tools to be successful with video. Tell them how to design their "set" (ex: don't have laundry in the background or random people walking behind you!). 

Show them how to stare at the camera and not their photo so they're making eye contact with students and truly connecting.

Light matters! Remind them to sit in front of a window, outside or with good light.

Audio is important! You can have the best lesson plan but if people can't hear you, it's not effective. 

Tip: Create your own video training about how to use video!

4. Create Scripts & Talking Points

Some teachers may need ideas for video content. I suggest giving them talking points for videos. It'll make them feel more comfortable and help them structure the video better.

For my clients, I often generate a list of ideas for what they can do for videos. I'll map out each idea and include bulleted talking points beneath each.

Bonus tip: Now is the time for faculty to produce videos beyond academics. Address parent concerns or something that would help them with distance learning (ex: How to set up a schedule that works for you and your child). 

5. Set Distance Learning Expectations

What are you expecting your faculty and staff to teach and produce during your school's closure?

The goal is for your parents to receive a similar experience from all teachers.

Why? If you have a parent with children in different classrooms and they're having two completely different experiences they're going to be frustrated and confused. 

I hope you find this helpful. Check out the video to learn more!

My heart is with you all as we navigate these uncertain times. Please connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know how things are going. 

 I'm here for you...


Aubrey Bursch, Founder, Easy School Marketing

P.S. I'm here for small independent schools during this challenging time. I want to support you! Schedule a free strategy session with me to discuss strategies to help your school during the coronavirus health crisis.