Connections – Training Alone, Together
In many states, the directive for educators has been to help support and give feedback to their students as best they can. With so much uncertainty, just the basic connections of ‘teacher to student’ and ‘peer to peer’ connections are so impactful during this time.
At Harvard High School in Illinois, PE teacher and coach Sean Saylor has tapped into the value of connection and recognition for his students and athletes.
Teacher – Student Connection
Through PLT4M, Coach Saylor has been able to provide students with opportunities to stay active through remote training workouts. Through the app, Coach Saylor can identify who has been logging their workouts and give students feedback along the way.
“I can tap right into the app and see who is getting workouts done. I like to take screenshots and send them to the kids, letting them know I saw that they got a workout done, maybe improved in a test result, or possibly send a friendly reminder they need to log something in the app.”
And while it might feel a bit different than his typical strength and conditioning classes, Saylor is happy to know he has ways to stay in touch with his students.
Peer to Peer Connection
Past Coach Saylor reaching out to students, he knew that facilitating some peer to peer communication would mean a lot to the younger students and athletes.
“We asked all of the rising seniors to pick an underclassman that they could reach out. It was like the buddy system.”
Through the buddy system, students were able to check-in and make sure that the weekly workouts were getting completed.
“A rising senior could give a call or text and try to help them set a schedule and hold them accountable. There were growing pains to start because kids needed to actually pick up the phone and call, but we worked through that.”
Coach Saylor helped to iron out some of those growing pains through conversations with the upperclassmen. They discussed the positives and negatives of tracking people down over the phone and were able to find productive ways to keep kids in the loop.
Check out how over 1,000 schools currently partner with PLT4M to deliver remote programs and programs throughout the school year!
Leaderboards – Connecting It All Together
In an attempt to bring all of these new connections together, Coach Saylor has been tapping into PLT4M’s leaderboards for recognition.
Within the Remote Fitness Program, different ‘Finishers’ call for students to log a possible score or time. Coach Saylor has encouraged his students to log their results. He then shares results on leaderboards via the PLT4M app and social media.
“We set up both boys and girls leaderboards and try to recognize as many students as possible. It gives the students some good motivation and is a fun way they know we as teachers and coaches, and their fellow peers all see the hard work going on at home.”
Alone – Together
As the weeks go on and social distancing continues, Coach Saylor has found effective ways to support and provide feedback to his students from a distance. While it may feel unconventional, Harvard has found a way to stay at home, ‘be alone’ and still find creative ways to come together.
And as teachers and coaches continue to find ways to empower students through different connections, Coach Saylor and Harvard are proud of the new ‘distance’ community they have been able to foster.