Michelle Macchia, an assistant professor of professional practice at Rutgers’ Graduate School of Education, is available to discuss tips for parents and children as they settle into back-to-school remote learning, in-person classes and hybrid models due to the pandemic.

“Parents and children should have honest conversations about the shift in back-to-school models,” Macchia said. “The conversation should include devising a ‘game plan’ for tackling their current learning model, which can clear up misconceptions children may have and help them prepare mentally for the new challenge.

Tips include:

  • Charge devices before going to bed so they're ready to go in the morning and check device batteries to ensure they are functioning.
  • Set up device cords in a few places around the home in case students and parents have to relocate to a different work space.
  • Provide your child with two pads of paper -- one blank, one with lines -- and a thick writing tool in their favorite color, which will allow them to participate in lessons with peers and teachers through drawings and writing.
  • Establish routines early, including identifying a space where bookbags and other items needed for in-person school are placed each night and placing a school schedule in a highly visible place to help everyone keep track. 
  • Communicate with teachers, administrators and counselors about which aspects of remote and hybrid learning work well for your child. Provide this critical feedback as early as possible.
  • Recognize that, like you and your child, educators are new to working in this virtual school environment and you are all going to be working through this together. 

Macchia oversees the development and practice of GSE pre-service teachers through her role as a partnership leader in the Community School Partnership Network. She serves as the faculty liaison to designated central New Jersey PK-12 public schools and districts.


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