It’s a Slow Start

In a recent intake meeting for families enrolling in our virtual learning environment, a parent made one of those statements that sticks in the brain. She was recounting advice from another BCVS mom; “it’s a slow start, but it eventually picks up.” At the time, I nodded my head in agreement and described the multi-stepped process of requesting online classes and having those classes open for the students. Walking away from that meeting in the sweltering August heat, the phrase kept echoing – it’s a slow start.

Virtual school is a slow start. Getting the right classes for the right student, then the student completing the orientation lessons, and finally classes open. It can take a few days. In the rush of the start of a school year, that can feel like an eternity! So yes, it can be a slow start that way.

But maybe it needs to be a slow start in a lot of ways. Students have to adjust to so many things in a virtual environment. In a classroom, where to sit and do work is not a huge unknown. In an at-home environment, students workspaces have to be dedicated and equipped. In a classroom, teachers often serve up classwork like lunchroom trays of food. In an at-home environment, classwork has to be actively retrieved. In a school building, class periods are set by bell schedules. At home, students can decide what to work on, when to work on it, how long to stay on one subject, and when a school day begins and ends.

The slowness of a virtual school start might allow students the space to make these necessary decisions: when, where, and how to approach their education. Once these decisions are set, routines can be established and students can begin the journey toward a successful virtual education.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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