Today’s teachers are adapting the way they deliver instruction and connect with their students as never before. Innovation is critical as students’ needs change. Around 43% of college students have full-time jobs, and another 81% have part-time jobs. They’re part of clubs and organizations. They have families that need their support. In an effort to meet the changing needs of those students, many teachers are adapting their office hours–but the “new” office hours may not look like what you think.
In previous years, teachers could simply assign set office hours when they would be available for students to connect with them. Their students knew that they would be in the office during those hours–often as little as one or two hours a day–and could visit as needed. Unfortunately, those hours are no longer as accessible to students they once were. Students may be learning off-campus, many of them from the privacy of their own homes. They may be unavailable during traditional office hours due to other responsibilities. They may even be completing their schoolwork where they can fit it in throughout the day.
Today’s educators, as a result, must find ways to be more available and approachable for their students, including an always-connected strategy that makes it easier for students to get in touch with them whenever necessary. Teachers need to be available to answer student questions, solve potential problems, and ensure that students have access to the content they need to get their jobs done.
While educators need to be accessible to their students whenever possible, they also need the same work-life balance that other employees prioritize. In fact, many educators chose to go into the education field because it offers more opportunities for them to balance their home lives and work responsibilities.
Being “always on” or “always connected” can prove exhausting, especially for educators who have a stack of other responsibilities on their plates.
Pronto Helps Maintain the “New” Office Hours Without Burnout
With Pronto, you have the best of all worlds. Pronto makes it easier to stay connected, which means that students can ask you questions when it’s relevant and needed, and you can respond at your convenience–regardless of when that communication takes place. However, Pronto also offers several features and options that allow you to maintain those hours and responsibilities while still keeping your work-life balance intact.
Turn Off Notifications When You Need to Unplug
Sometimes, you simply need time away from your job responsibilities. You may want to spend time with friends and family or simply spend time engaging in leisure activities, rather than having distractions call your attention back to work. You can turn off notifications for specific threads or turn off Pronto notifications altogether, then get back to it when you’re ready to issue a response. You can also control what threads you actually pay attention to or get a notification when a student uses your name, which can help you determine what’s important and needs your attention now, and what you can afford to get back to later.
Allow Students to Help One Another
One of the best features of Pronto is that it brings students together and allows them to help one another. Does a student have a question about project requirements–perhaps one that you have already answered for a peer? What about a question regarding the material that someone else already has the answer for? Often, other students can jump in and provide answers to critical queries. Even better, chances are, among the members of your class, there will be someone accessible even during the hours when you aren’t, which can make it easier for students who work at non-traditional times.
Connect Quickly When Needed
Thanks to Pronto, you don’t have to worry about long, clunky emails or messages that take too long to arrive. If needed, you can quickly pull up a video chat with a student who has questions about the material or a project. You can get face-to-face with a student without either of you having to leave the comfort of home. Whether you need to bolster a student’s confidence or go more in-depth as you provide the answers to questions that have cropped up after class time, you’re able to easily adapt to the student’s needs and schedule–and to your own.
Check It Out Today
Pronto can help maintain the “new” office hours and keep up with the latest in educator innovations, all while providing enhanced convenience for educators and students alike. Can Pronto help you connect more effectively with your students? Contact us today for a demonstration of how Pronto can improve your learning environment.