Motivating Students For Online Therapy During Virtual School

Motivating Students For Online Therapy During Virtual School

online motivation kids doing yogaTeachers and students are feeling the effects of hybrid and online learning. But as multiple stories and blog posts since March 2020 attest, those teachers who engage their students in multiple ways: live/synchronous lectures, pre-recorded lectures, phone calls, live chats, and virtual experiences have more academically successful students and a more satisfying experience. As teletherapists, motivating students for online therapy in the midst of daily virtual learning is challenging. We have some ideas and tools to help you! 

Engagement is key!

It’s hard for young students to be on a virtual platform all day learning then turning right around and getting on a therapy session. We get that the day is long, hard, and can be monotonous for the little ones. So change it up! Engage those little learners with therapy sessions that are interactive, fun, and encourages participation. The work on your end might take a little more but that could help a student that is falling behind get engaged and retain the information they are learning. And you could also help their mood and self-esteem.   

Motivate with a special guest

Light a fire in those youngsters and get them into action. How many times have you had a therapy session where you know your students can learn but aren’t motivated to learn. There is nothing in it for them to pay attention and participate in the session. A little tip to get them more willing to learn is to bring in a VIP or a person the child looks up to. This could even be a classmate!Bring that person into a few sessions and work with them to encourage them to motivate the student. How fun would it be to break up the day to day session with a few others to help point the student in the right direction? Your number one resource is your student’s parents and teachers. Ask them!

Provide choices

For a session with a student to work, you need that student to learn and grow. Taking away choice from the students leaves them feeling bored and out of control. After all, who wants to participate if there is nothing in it for them?
So give the student choices!
Ask them what they want to work on, while keeping in mind your goals. Incorporate topics that they enjoy to encourage them to participate more actively.
Ask the student to help prep your sessions ahead of time to let them know what is coming. This makes them excited to participate in therapy. It could be as simple as suggesting doing an activity, reading a book, working on sensory activities, or incorporating games into your sessions.

Getting them excited about what’s to come helps encourage active learners. 

Building growth mindset into therapy 

Even as an adult you know that having a positive mindset is key! Although not every day is going to be a good one, we can focus on the gains in our life to achieve overall happiness. Students are the same way. They need constant encouragement and positive reinforcement. Share stories of how you have overcome a difficult situation with your student and encourage others to share their story. There are also different ways to rephrase sentences that students can be encouraged to see light at the end of the tunnel. For several ways to incorporate growth mindset and positive reinforcement take a look at Helping Struggling Students Build a Growth Mindset.Following each of these steps and some of the techniques you have learned along the way helps build a child up for success. There are many other examples and resources out there that can help your students during their sessions and getting them back on track. Here’s a few of our favorite YouTube resources for  “brain breaks” and movement activities.

We hope you find what you need. It’s easy to give up and get discouraged from the constant virtual setting but just remember that you are helping a young one succeed! 

About the author

Diana Parafiniuk, founder of E-TherapyDiana Parafiniuk, M.S., CCC-SLP 

Co-Founder/Chief Marketing OfficerDiana founded E-Therapy in 2009 after finding herself driving hundreds of miles per week. She knew there must be a better way to deliver speech therapy to students and schools. Today, E-Therapy is an established market leader in teletherapy which provides the highest quality services and reaches students and schools across the United States. Read more about Diana. 

Derek Vogel

Derek Vogel is a highly experienced and results-driven leader, currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of E-Therapy. With over 15 years of experience in executive leadership, he has a proven track record of driving business growth and success. He is skilled in business development, organizational strategy, and employee engagement and has a reputation for designing effective strategies that have consistently yielded significant increases in revenue and cost savings. He has successfully managed businesses ranging from $10M to $100M+ in annual revenue, and has experience in leading organizations through post-acquisition integration processes. Prior to joining E-Therapy, Derek was the President of AMN Healthcare’s Education Healthcare Staffing business, where he provided on-site and virtual solutions for students in need of therapy services. He is known for mentoring and developing his team members and inspiring a sense of pride and ownership in the collective success of the organization.