Online high schools have become increasingly popular in the past few years as students and parents see how they offer flexibility and personalized education, making them an appealing option for many who are not inclined to pursue traditional schooling.
As with any school, in the virtual school setting, it is of the utmost importance to develop positive relationships that foster mutual respect, trust, understanding, and support between educators and students.
Building and maintaining these relationships with students in online high schools is essential for enhancing their engagement, performance, and overall well-being both in high school and down the road following their graduation.
Today, we’ll be discussing some of the unique limitations that are associated with online learning along with how these challenges can be overcome to create positive relationships between teachers and students in an online educational setting.
The Unique Challenges of Online Learning
Limited Face-to-Face Interaction
The lack of physical presence in online learning can be a challenge as it creates barriers in understanding non-verbal cues, hindering relationship-building. Online teachers must find creative ways to stay engaged with their students through virtual learning.
As opposed to traditional in-person schooling, when teachers are interaction with their students face-to-face on a daily basis, online platforms can make establishing these personal connections more of a challenge. This means that there is a need for the development of new strategies that will help teachers build rapport with their students.
Adapting Traditional Methods
While there is an obviously vast difference between in-person traditional schooling and virtual schooling, there are still methods used in traditional schooling that can very well apply for virtual high schools.
Educators must creatively adapt traditional relationship-building techniques with students to fit the virtual classroom, ensuring they remain effective in an online environment.
Benefits of Positive Relationships in Online High Schools
The fostering of positive relationships with students leads to increased engagement, motivation, and participation in the virtual classroom. When a student feels that they have a positive relationship with their teacher, they are far more likely to engage in class and achieve long-term success as a result.
Students who feel connected and have a level of trust with their online teachers are also more likely to excel academically due to personalized support. This shows the importance of teachers building individual relationships with each of their students.
Socially, learning in a supportive online community enhances students’ emotional well-being and fosters healthy social development. Even though they are learning virtually, it is still important for students to feel that they are part of a community in order to achieve positive emotional health and social development.
Lastly, positive relationships between teachers and students increase retention rates in online high schools and contribute to a more satisfying educational experience. This makes a student more likely to attend class, stay in school and graduate on time.
How We Foster Positive Rapport with Students
The ability to effectively communicate with students in a virtual setting is paramount to forming positive relationships with them. Utilizing various channels and maintaining consistent communication helps in building a strong level of trust and understanding between students and teachers.
Personalized Learning Approaches
Every student has a unique set of needs, challenges and strengths in the classroom. A teacher’s ability to recognize and adapt to individual learning styles allows for more personalized and effective virtual education. This is only more emphasized in an online learning environment which allows for a deeper level of personalized learning.
Community Building Activities
While they are often seen as only available in traditional in-person high schools, having community activities is both very possible and crucial for building positive relationships with students in online education. Being involved in virtual clubs, activities, and collaborative projects fosters a sense of community, making students feel connected and engaged with their online school and peers.
Parent and Guardian Involvement
The involvement of a student’s family in their education is crucial for that student’s ability to succeed in any learning environment. Regular communication with parents and guardians enhances the educational process, keeping families involved and supportive throughout their child’s educational journey.
Enroll in an Online High School that Values Positive Student Relationships
Fostering positive relationships with students in a virtual educational setting is not only possible, but also crucial for that child’s success. At Citizens High School, we pride ourselves in our ability to create and maintain positive relationships between teachers and students that help contribute to the student’s growth through high school and even after.
To learn more about enrolling with CHS, view our enrollment page today.