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Here in Sydney, we have started easing out of lockdown and educators are preparing for what teaching, presenting or running professional learning might look like.

Whether you’re already out of lockdown or planning for it to ease, here’s three actions to take that can help make learning stick for everyone.

Action #1: Focus on connection before content

Your content is important, but helping your learners connect with you and each other will be important on our return. If you’ve worked with us or read my books or taken our programs, you know how positive connections between learners helps make learning stick for everyone. You can create connection in numerous ways including:

• Providing time for learners get to know each other’s names
• Having the group stand or sit in a circle (if you’re face-to-face)
• Creating a seating plan that creates a sense of belonging.

You might feel like you have a lot of content to get through.

To help with the transition from COVID lockdowns, I want to suggest you first focus on connection before content. This will help make learning stick for everyone!

Action #2: Create safety

In the best of times teaching and learning can feel like unsafe places for many people.

What we can perceive as a learner not being “motivated” sometimes is a learner whose guard is up. And when a learner’s guard is up, it’s very difficult to help make learning stick.

For many learners, return from lockdown might cause them to have their guards up higher than usual. That’s why it’s important to work to create safety and lower their guards.

Things like playing music at the start of your learning session, using humour, or helping learning partners learn to work well together, creates safety.

As you return from COVID related lockdowns, create safety and help lower the guards of all your learners.

Want support using music? click here.

Action #3: Be proactive

If you’re back to face-to-face teaching and learning I’m guessing your learners are going to need to practice working well together again.

After months of working individually at a computer, working collaboratively again will take some practice.

One way to do this is to be proactive in your collaboration approach.

You can do this in numerous ways:

* Spending time having learners talk about what it takes to work well together
* Have teams come up with agreements for working well together
* Have partners discuss ways that they work well together before they begin.

Being proactive in this approach will help set everyone up for success. And, will help make learning stick for everyone.

As we begin to ease lockdown restrictions, know that we’re cheering you on!

Dr. William DeJean


A QUESTION FOR YOU

What’s your top suggestion for supporting educators and learners as lockdown restrictions ease or if lockdowns have ended for you, what’s supported the success of you and your learners?

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