Students are not the only ones who must go through a change when switching from a brick-and-mortar school to online learning. Parents need to prepare themselves for making this transition as well. For many parents, when their children go off to school, it allows them to run errands or have time to themselves. When a student’s learning environment comes home, parents take on a new role becoming a Learning Coach. Your child’s change in how they are being educated can also impact how parents socialize now that there is a new dynamic.
“It’s one of the hardest jobs, but one of the most important, and I think hearing that alongside our children’s education is even harder, but also doubly important because they are our future,” says Ryanne Channell, a community manager and moderator for the National Learning Coach Community.
For parents of children learning virtually, the Learning Coach Community is a virtual village created for parents and Learning Coaches to connect and build relationships with others. There is a national community with more than 56,000 members and smaller, school-specific communities. It has become a valuable resource for Learning Coaches to connect, share advice, and encourage each other.
“I think probably the biggest benefit is human connection and really being able to connect with other adults who are being Learning Coaches who are doing the same thing and who are going through the same thing,” says Channell.
The Learning Coach Community is a forum where parents can ask questions and get answers in a safe space since the communities are private. To be included in one, you’ll log in through your online school and sign in with your Learning Coach credentials. You can join as soon as your student’s enrollment is approved and you’ve received your login details. Once there, you can join your local community and the national community and get connected to resources, have your questions answered, and find people to live in your area to connect with.
There is also a social aspect to connecting with other Learning Coaches through the Learning Coach Community. Like students, Learning Coaches can participate in activities like a book club or walking club. Spanish-speaking or military families have a space to connect. There are also virtual social sessions so Learning Coaches interacting online can see each other face to face.
If you’re interested in hearing more from Channell, you can listen to an interview with her on the K12 On Learning podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts.