The Pandemic Paradox for Online Learning School Success

Teen Schooling and Online Learning

It really is all about them! And it should be.

The developmental stage of adolescence makes tweens and teens seem rather “narcissistic” no matter how empathetic and responsible we want them to grow. It’s all about them in the trials and tribulations of online learning success in the pandemic too! Perhaps we need to surrender to win…

Teens didn’t choose their schooling reality. They should be worrying about which team to try out for or what club to join. Instead they are faced with a global pandemic and online learning platform negotiations.

What a big dose of powerlessness!

Rather than attempting to control them and their online learning schedule as the self-appointed homework assignment police, why don’t we help them find the counterbalance to powerlessness?

As with most things in conscious parenting, the solution lies inherently in the problem.

Ultimately, our teens are responsible for their learning schedule, organizing their work and completing assignments.  But we can help them build the 21st century learning skills that will serve them well in college for post-secondary success. Educators and workforce experts summarize the following as 21st century lifelong learners and workforce skills.

21st Century Learning Skills

  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration and Communication
  • Information, Media and Technology Literacy
  • Flexibility

We can empower teens to develop these skills in the challenge of online or hybrid learning. After all, this is the generation best prepared to embrace these changes because they were raised in the digital age. Adult anxiety may get in the way of seeing the real opportunity here.

The question remains how do we empower our teens to seize this opportunity and thrive especially when they stay up playing video games or don’t set their alarm to get up for “zoom classes?”

Online Learning Success Strategies

Teens can gain control of their learning by doing the following.

  • defining their learning styles,
  • identifying their personality orientation for learning,
  • organizing their strategies for learning according to their strengths
  • discovering how to stay motivated AND
  • advocating for what works best for them.

For example, an introverted teen may email the teacher requesting to do a book report and poster presentation for an assignment in history, whereas an extroverted teen may excel in a group setting and negotiate and organize a project for a unit of study with peers.

Surrendering parental fear and anxiety about our teen’s online success or failure, paradoxically paves the way to deeper connection with our teens as we navigate the pandemic.


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