Stay In Touch

Today Contributor: My name is Elise Baughman and I teach Physics and Forensic Science at McCallum High School. When I’m not teaching, I like to be outside with my dogs, do renovation projects with my husband, and work in my garden.

            These are strange and historic times we are living through and I for one can not imagine going through this while I was still in school. Some of your students may now be the caregivers in their home, others might be starting to feel the effects of isolation, and some are just seriously missing you and your class. How can we as teachers provide support to our students during these uncertain times? Check in. Let your students know that you are still there and still care about them. You have been a constant for your students all year long and can still provide some stability for them.

I have done a weekly check in with my students all semester so yesterday, I sent out a modified version to all of my classes to let them know that I was still thinking about them and that this was at least one thing that wasn’t going to change:

“Good Afternoon!

I sincerely hope that this message finds you doing well. Even though we are not having any school or lessons this week, I wanted to make sure that I kept in the habit of our weekly check ins. So if you have moment, let me know how you are doing:

(check in form link)

Also, I will be attempting to tweet and share what’s going on with me, class, and other things during this crazy time so if you want to follow along or participate in the conversation, follow me @MrsB_MacCIC.

Have a great rest of your day!”

The response from my students so far has been overwhelmingly positive and even some students have started following me on Twitter to get easier access to updates in real time (along with some cute dog and kitten pictures). I have been able to touch base with some students who had some real concerns about what was coming next. Even though we don’t know much at this point I was able to offer some reassurances that we are all going to be learning how this works together and that, especially for my seniors, I would be here to help them get through this. Responding to students who had questions has taken time, but I cannot stress enough how worth it every second has been.

Here is how I got my message out:

  1. Created this Google Form:
    a. Virtual Check In (this link has edit access, so please make your own copy before making changes.)
  2. I ran a report in TEAMS to create an excel sheet for “Class Student Listing With Addresses” since this will include all student emails.
  3. Typed up my message, copied all of the emails in the student email column of my excel report, pasted the emails in the BCC part of my email so that if students respond it only comes to me, typed my own email in the To section, and clicked send.

**Please note that you can also send class messages through your BLEND inbox or by posting an announcement which I would also encourage you to do so that you can reach as many students as possible.

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