Sample Virtual Community Guidelines for School Staff

It's helpful to create community guidelines for our online gatherings of staff - during the coronavirus pandemic, or at any time. Here are some sample guidelines from a recent online gathering of Morningside staff.

The coronavirus outbreak is forcing many of us, including teachers, to meet online instead of face-to-face. Creating virtual community guidelines for these gatherings can help us feel more connected and supported.

The sample guidelines below were developed during a recent online meeting of Morningside Center’s staff developers and other staff. We came together for a half-day online gathering using Zoom. After greeting each other, we worked together to establish some guidelines for how we wanted to relate to each other in this new virtual setting and in the midst of a widening global pandemic and “social distancing.” 


Virtual Community Guidelines

  • Reach out, stay in touch
  • Patience for yourself and others as we navigate uncharted territory
  • Authentic listening (care-filled deep listening, listening to the words beneath the words)
  • Be okay with your current feelings
  • Welcome the different ways in how each of us processes feelings and information
  • Hold space for others with heart and empathy
  • Have patience for dealing with technology
  • Be okay with trying, making mistakes, and learning
  • Care for ourselves and each other
  • Keep an open mind to this new way of creating and being in community
  • Stay present with each other via technology and support each other in learning this new way of being together
  • Center gratitude as best you can
  • Openness and enthusiasm in creating something new together
  • Agree on some nonverbal signs of solidarity, validation and agreement
  • Recognize the unique gifts we each bring