I Set Up a Breakfast Club to Engage My Virtual Students


As the pandemic forced many schools to shift towards remote teaching, teachers around the world faced a common challenge: keeping their students engaged in a virtual environment. With students dealing with factors such as Zoom fatigue, technological issues, and adjusting to working from home, maintaining a sense of community and connection seemed harder than ever. That’s when I decided to set up a ‘Breakfast Club’ for my virtual students.

The Birth of the Breakfast Club

The idea of the Breakfast Club was inspired by the classic 1980s film about students from different social cliques who find common ground during detention. I thought creating a space for my students to connect and engage outside the usual class framework would help us bond over something authentic and fun.

The club would meet virtually once a week before school started, with everyone logging on from their homes. The main purpose was to create an informal platform where students could chat, discuss their interests, share breakfast ideas, or simply enjoy a meal together.

Engagement Starts at Breakfast

I started by promoting the club through announcements during virtual classes and our online learning platform. At first, only a few students showed interest, but as word spread, more joined in the following weeks. To facilitate interaction and make everyone feel welcome, we had open topics of discussion, shared stories of what we’d been doing at home, and even exchanged recipes or recommendations for what to eat during our get-togethers.

Benefits of the Breakfast Club

Over time, it became evident that the Breakfast Club was helping my students feel more connected not only with each other but also with me as their teacher. Some key benefits included:

1. Breaking down barriers: The informal setting allowed students to open up more than they would have in class. This helped them get to know one another better and develop friendships.

2. Boosting motivation: Getting up early to participate in the club together gave students a sense of responsibility and commitment. This translated into more motivation during regular class hours.

3. Encouraging creativity: Students showcased their creativity not only in the breakfasts they prepared but also in the conversations they led and the ideas they shared.

4. Enhancing mental health: The Breakfast Club provided invaluable social support, contributing to a decrease in feelings of isolation commonly associated with remote learning.


With the success of the Breakfast Club, I am reminded that it’s crucial to find innovative ways to engage our students, especially in trying times. It’s essential to foster a sense of belonging within our virtual classrooms and nurture the human connections that make learning more effective and enjoyable for everyone involved. The Breakfast Club taught me that sometimes, all it takes is an open forum and a shared meal to spark engagement, friendship, and learning among our students.

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