Finding the motivation to get inspired can be very difficult while stuck in quarantine. Take this opportunity to better yourself and find new ways to continue growing in a forward direction. In a recent conversation with educator, speaker, and author, Tara Martin, she outlined her ‘Be REAL” model and how to implement this model during remote learning.

What Being R.E.A.L Means to Tara Martin

REAL is an acronym that stands for Relatable, Expose vulnerability, Approachable, and Learning through life. This is a method that Tara says can be applied to anything, but she acknowledges that the concept of being real or true to yourself can be much harder than it may seem. 

While everyone around you may seem like they have all the answers, most people are still going through the same motions as you to figure out what ‘being real’ means to them. The first step to becoming REAL is to be approachable. Tara said, “We all started somewhere. No one gains a high status without starting at the bottom and going through some challenges.”

The importance of staying humble in times of great success is so important to pave a path for the generations behind you. No matter who Tara is speaking in front of or the size of the crowd, she always makes sure that she comes off as approachable. This puts the whole mood at ease and gives the audiences a bit more comfort. 

The second step is to understand how to learn through life. Tara says, “If you have a heartbeat, there is more to learn and improve upon.” You and your surroundings are constantly changing and growing by learning from the experiences you endure over time. If you are alive you have a chance to learn, take it

The A and L of REAL are not the only components you need to be successful. R and E are the parts that make us human. As humans, we have to be able to accept, process, and move on from the mistakes we have made and the experiences that hold us back from moving forward. 

We have to be able to take those experiences and turn them into lessons that teach students and children to beat the odds of their challenges and grow to their full potential.

Being R.E.A.L during Remote Learning

Remote learning has caused hindrance to the relationships built within the walls of a classroom. Without that one-on-one feel and real connection, really grabbing the students’ attention, keeping them engaged, and getting across important lessons to students has become a game on its own to figure out what works. In recent months Tara has spent time examining what the best ways are to stay connected and how to continue to Be REAL. The fear from teachers is that the non-verbal and personal connection that students and teachers have inside of the classroom will ultimately be erased with the onset of remote learning. Tara encourages educators to keep these things in mind when staying REAL during remote learning

1. Find the person behind the technology

The main goal of using technology is to enhance learning and educational experience. If the technology starts to interfere with the realness of the student using the technology, then its purpose has diminished. Make sure that the student is still supported and growing while using technology.

2. Use tools the students already know

Tara suggests using Snapchat. Using a strategy like BookSnaps to engage students with an app they find fun and leverage their interest to your advantage by incorporating the usage of Snapchat into a lesson. Have students take a snap of a page in the assigned book and have them fill the snap with emojis and drawings to represent this portion of the book or how this page made them feel. This way students can make a visual and verbal connection to the text.

3. No parameters

Let students have more freedom during a lesson. Have fewer guidelines to get a student’s creative juices flowing. For example, instead of having very specific guidelines for a writing assignment, give students the freedom to be creative and come up with their own story

4. Connection

Help them to make connections. Make your intentions clear as to why these lessons are important and how the tools you are using relate back to the “why” of the lesson and create a deeper connection.

The essence of Be REAL is to find yourself and better yourself for the benefit of others. When you take the time to reflect on your experiences and learn from them, rather than dwell, you create an environment in your mind of constant growth and mindfulness while simultaneously using your time effectively to your advantage. You cannot teach students how to be REAL until you are REAL to yourself. Take the first step to being real with us! Follow Tara Martin (@TaraMartinEDU) and us (@Dyknow) on twitter!

Listen to the full conversation with Tara Martin on our Tackling Tech Podcast!

This week Brett talks to Tara Martin, an educator, admin, coach, speaker, author, and founder of BookSnaps. Tara explains what being “R.E.A.L.” means and how to be REAL while using technology during remote learning. She wrote a book called “Cannonball In,” about her philosophy in life.

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