Virtual Teaching and Building Positive Relationships: The Proximity Learning Approach

Daryl Chesley
September 14, 2023

The back-to-school season creates anticipation for educators, students, and parents alike. At Proximity Learning (PLI), we embrace this excitement by providing support for every member of the learning community to overcome the challenges posed by the shift to live synchronous learning. 

Building Relationships

PLI utilizes a highly developed curriculum and training program to help our teachers build positive relationships with their students through virtual teaching. By investing time and effort into building these relationships, we believe that educators can provide the highest level of education possible to their students, mirroring the quality instruction they receive in a traditional classroom.

At the heart of PLI's approach to synchronous virtual teaching is the belief that positive relationships are key to helping students learn and grow. To that end, we have developed a range of tools and strategies to help our teachers build rapport with their students. For instance, our interactive technology includes break-out rooms where smaller groups of students can work together on assignments or projects. This creates a more intimate learning environment, as teachers and students can engage with one another more directly. 

Additionally, our teachers are given specific assignments designed to help build rapport with their students. By investing time and energy into these assignments, teachers create a more personalized and meaningful connection with their students, even in a virtual environment.

Enhanced Social-Emotional Learning

Another important aspect of virtual teaching is the need to support Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) among students. At PLI, we believe that SEL is essential for helping students develop the executive skills they need to succeed not only in their academic pursuits but also in life. By promoting SEL through synchronous instruction, our teachers can help students develop important skills like self-awareness, self-regulation, and relationship-building. Our curriculum includes modules specifically designed to support SEL, and our teachers receive training on how to incorporate SEL into their teaching practices.

Curated Professional Development

Beyond these tools and strategies, PLI also invests heavily in our teachers' professional development. We recognize that virtual teaching presents unique challenges that require specialized training and expertise, and we are committed to providing our teachers with the support they need to succeed in this environment. 

Our teachers receive ongoing training on techniques for virtual instruction, as well as support for managing their virtual classrooms and adapting to the needs of their students. By providing this level of support and training, we are able to attract and retain high-quality teachers who are committed to building positive relationships with their students and providing the best possible instruction through virtual teaching.

Back-to-School with Proximity Learning

The back-to-school season is always an exciting time for educators and students. At PLI, we believe that the key to success in virtual teaching is building positive relationships with students. By investing time and energy into tools and strategies like break-out rooms, specific assignments to build rapport, and support for Social and Emotional Learning, our teachers are able to connect with their students and provide the highest level of instruction possible. 

Furthermore, by investing in our teachers' professional development, we are building a team of experts who are committed to excellence in virtual teaching. As we look to the future of education, we are excited to continue supporting schools across the country in their efforts to provide high-quality virtual instruction to students.

Read more from our innovations series here.

about the author
Daryl Chesley

Dr. Daryl Chesley serves as the Director of Innovation at Proximity Learning. His areas of oversight include Curriculum Development & Implementation, Teacher Effectiveness, Professional Development, Organizational Innovations, Asynchronous Instruction, Institutional Funding and Proximity Learning’s Instructional Metaverse Development.

Prior to joining Proximity Learning, he held many leadership roles in public education and non-profit Healthcare education: including teacher, coach, High School Principal, Director and Assistant Superintendent of Instruction / Chief Academic Officer. He served in the US Navy. He attended Villanova University for undergraduate and earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from The George Washington University. Daryl currently serves on the Board of Directors for Maine ASCD.

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