COVID-19: The Basics of How to Teach High School from Home

Today I officially started teaching all of my classes via Zoom. My school is a small private school in California’s Bay Area, so we’ve been prepping for the inevitability of distance learning for a few weeks now. While I certainly don’t have it all figured out yet, I wanted to share the quickest, most basic tips I’ve learned over the weekend and from teaching today.


  • Get an ethernet connection for your laptop if possible.
  • Use a document camera and switch between views of this and your face by clicking the ^ near the video symbol in Zoom.
  • Set your meeting to mute all students upon entry.
  • Disable the chat setting between participants.
  • A second monitor is extremely helpful. As are headphones if you have other people at home with you.

Redefine Class Expectations

  • I made a new “syllabus” for distance learning, modeled after my actual syllabus for the beginning of the year. This worked wonders easing the kids’ fears.

Submit Written/Diagram Answers with Google Forms

  • I teach Algebra 1, Physics, and Programming, so most of the work I give students in my normal classes requires them writing out their work and drawing diagrams. To fix the issue of flooding my inbox with a million pictures of work from my students, I’ve set up Google Forms for each assignment.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions: I am happy to help and I realize how fortunate I am to be working at a school which has properly prepared for COVID-19 and is equipped to successfully implement distance learning.

I will publish more resources and tips soon!

Wishing you health, safety, and happiness,


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