Most of us are spending more time on camera than ever before, while teaching and learning via Zoom and other platforms. According to Melanie Gangle, accessible educational services, many students, both with and without disabilities, are experiencing significant difficulties remaining on-camera for the entire duration of live class meetings. This can be due to issues ranging from distractibility, to anxiety, to trauma, to self-consciousness (of a humble/insecure home, disruptive family members, etc.). These difficulties interfere with student engagement and content learning. Since the remote format of courses this semester is a necessity, not a choice, please consider making allowances for the difficulties this format creates for many students.
This article by Karen Costa, an independent faculty development facilitator, provides contextual information about trauma-informed teaching and then provides simple, concrete examples of practices that support student engagement without requiring cameras to be turned on.
Interested in further resources on trauma-informed teaching during the pandemic? The Chronicle of Higher Education compiled resources this summer that are still relevant. Find them at this link.
I offer the above resources in the context of tremendous gratitude for the excellent teaching and ongoing support you provide for students, in so many ways, every day. If you have questions or would like to discuss further, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.