Schools Re-opening: Back-to-school tips for Educators

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This past year has been hard on everyone. Teachers and students both have had to adapt to changes again and again. With several schools opening for in-person instruction full timesome parents prefer not to send their child in, for various reasons. While some teachers must continue to manage hybrid or remote learning schedules interspersed with a few in-person classes, some others have already adapted to full time in-person classes. At the time of writing this post, the situation varies from state to state, and location to location. 

To make thtransition to in-person classes easier for everyone involved, it is important to plan and keep a few things in mind. This is why, we have made brief list of back-to-school tips by compiling information from these articles: How teachers can help transition students back to School by Carl Leonard & Gail Brown, Back to School Tips for Teachers” by Waterford.org, and “Expert Tips for Teachers when Schools Reopen” by WebMD. 

1) Keep yourself updated on district and school COVID-19 guidelines: 

Familiarise yourself with any new changes, and prepare for a new, socially distanced classroom setup if your school district’s guidelines require it. In the days coming up to the re-opening date, inform parents about all preventative measures being takenA helpful tip is to leave classroom doors open and to reduce contact at any high-frequency touchpoints.  

2) Structure: 

Ensure that students get accustomed to a new routine by doing a simple activity at the same time every day, or every week. This will help them slowly get back to feeling at ease by providing a sense of structure and familiarity. 

3) Personal Care & Safety: 

As we have previously said in one of our social media posts, “Education is important; lives are too.” Take appropriate measures to maintain distance around your desk. Wash your masks daily, try to open classroom windows as often as possible, and if weather permits, hold outdoor lunchtimes. Teachers supporting each other is important too, so make sure you organize regular (distanced) meetings with your fellow teachers. 

4) Recognizing Educational inequalities: 

Recognizing that few students might have had partial to no access to online classes is the first step in making a plan to help them catch up. This learning gap could impact students’ emotional wellbeing too, so supporting them through empathy and an adapted learning pace could prove greatly beneficial. 

5) Providing a safe space to talk: 

Children might be anxious about returning to school, or in certain unfortunate situations, even mourning the loss of a loved one. Encourage dialogue by providing multiple opportunities to talk. Sharing learning experiences, exchanging lessons, or engaging in group activities to foster connections are all possible solutions. Besides, educators need to keep an eye out for any signs of distress or anxiety. Mrs. Mactivity* has some great resources and activity guides for educators returning to schoolCheck them out here. 

Each child’s needs and experiences will be different, as will yours. Prepare for any possible scenarios, but also remember to take care of your wellbeing.  

Are there any other tips you would like to share with other educators? Let us know in the comments below!
*Websites mentioned in our articles are in no way endorsed by or associated with BoardShare™. 

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