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Boosting Student Morale During a Pandemic

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The shift to online learning did not only bring challenges to the teaching force but to the student body as well. Students were compelled to adjust from traditional, face-to-face discussions to online classes and without any doubt, this brought substantial amount of stress — straining a student’s learning experience.

And there is more to stress than just feeling physically tired and mentally drained.

It can shake a student’s confidence and demotivate them from performing their best in class. Stress can affect a student’s ability to focus on a task, organize their thoughts and make sound decisions.

“Lisod sad i-focus [be]cause dili nimo maseparate ang academic nga environment sa imohang personal life in your own home. So sometimes dili jud ko kafocus.”

Translation: It’s hard to focus because you can’t separate the academic environment from your personal life in your own home. So sometimes, I cannot focus [in class] — 3rd year BS Computer Science Student, Cebu Institute of Technology University

A simple interaction from one’s social support can do so much to help students cope with stress. There are already multiple studies that have shown how social interactions and social support lower the risk of stress damaging one’s physical, emotional, and mental health.

True, this is hard to achieve in online classes where students only face a screen for hours with less to even no class interaction at all.

Yes, it’s hard but it’s not impossible!

Boosting a student’s morale does not only come from social groups. In a class, a teacher plays a significant role in raising a student’s morale and establishing a positive learning environment.

Unlike face-to-face classes, it is no easy task to keep track of your students’ progress in an online learning setup. You are not able to assess if they are engaged and making the most out of the discussion, but this should not limit your efforts, as a teacher, to boost your students’ morale and foster their confidence.

“How do I boost a student’s morale?”

You might think that because there is a pandemic, there are limitations to what you can do as a teacher, but you should think again and ask yourself…

“What can I do for my students?”

Let’s look at some ways you can help your students not only in boosting their morale but in making sure you are establishing a learning environment where students are free to interact and foster self-confidence.


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Make Class Discussions Inclusive and Interactive Nothing beats a class discussion where students are engaged and class participation is high. Interactive and engaging class discussions stimulate a student’s attentiveness and their motivation to learn.

There are already various tools online that would help make your class engaging and fun — from fun icebreakers to stimulating learning activities!


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A “Good Job!” Takes A Long Way “You did a great job in this activity!” This line can do a lot to your student. Not only does this affirms their ability, this reassures your students that they are making progress with their studies.

Giving feedback and praise is a way of encouraging them to move forward and reminding them that their efforts in studying during these trying times are not in vain.


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Don’t Forget To Reach Out A simple “How are you guys?” before starting a class discussion can help you assess how your students are feeling and gauge their attentiveness in your class. This way you’d know how to handle the class and prepare activities that would foster a learning environment where everyone enjoys the class.

And believe it or not, students appreciate a teacher’s effort to conduct a one-on-one talk. There are things that they’d like you to know and there are things that they’d like to hear from you — may it be how they’re doing academically or how they can improve and contribute more to the class.


There are so much you can do to boost your students’ morale and their spirits in this challenging learning setup. The ways listed are just the tip of the iceberg. Boosting your students’ morale does not only benefit your students but you as well. A student with high morale will learn to enjoy the class.

And this is the most rewarding part of teaching — for your students to not only learn but enjoy what they are learning.

Here’s another tip — in your next class discussion, take a time to observe your class. While your students are enjoying the class, you also enjoy teaching.


References:

[1] 10 Ways to Boost Student Morale | PaperDirect Blog (https://www.paperdirect.com/blog/2014/03/10-ways-to-boost-student-morale/)

[2] Stress and How it Affects Your Learning | Neeuro (https://www.neeuro.com/stress-and-how-it-affects-your-learning/)

[3] Fostering Student Morale and Confidence | Centre for Teaching Excellence | University of Waterloo (https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/managing-students/diversity-and-internationalization/fostering-student-morale)

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