5 Tips for Transitioning Educators Back to In-Person Learning
Although change is inevitable, it is not an easy thing to overcome. People become used to their daily routines and become complacent with their everyday “norm.” It is hard for people to go outside their comfort zone and doing so can cause extreme distress.
The pandemic has certainly forced many people to live outside this comfort zone, especially teachers and students. When education went remote last March, teachers and students were forced to adapt in ways they never imagined. This was no easy task and it took some finesse, but most people were able to make it work. Fast forward to today, when the world is talking about reopening. Students and teachers are going to have to live through this transition yet again. At Da Vinci, we are always trying to help our fellow educators and students prepare for the unknown while making it as easy as possible. Here are some helpful tips on how to make this transition from virtual learning back to in person teaching easier.
1. Planning and preparation
These are key components to a successful transition. One thing we know for sure is that our students are not returning with the same skills they left with. This independent learning environment has inevitably increased the gaps between student learners and skills. Reteaching is inevitable, so we must prepare to back track to allow for mastery. Check for understanding and expect the skills retained to be lower than in the past.
2. Allow your students some control
Students have had more control of their education while being in the comfort of their own homes during remote learning. Returning to school and losing this sense of control or freedom can be extremely hard for them. Give them choices when available. Give them breaks when possible. Be flexible.
3. Foster collaboration
There are more restrictions for in person learning than we have had in the past. Guided reading, group work, peer edits are unfortunately not being implemented in the classroom due to social distancing restrictions. Group work is extremely beneficial for our students’ growth as learners, so instead of throwing this idea completely out the window, collaborate with your students on how you can incorporate working with classmates. Allow them to be a part of the conversation because more often than not, they will think outside the box.
4. Lead with empathy
The last year has been hard on all of us, but as adults it is easier for us to wrap our heads around the necessity of these closures/changes. Our students are confused, our students are concerned, our students are nervous, and it is our job to be empathetic to these emotions. For some students, being home was a luxury, and for others, it has been nothing short of difficult. Take this into account when dealing with your students as we have no idea what the last year of their lives has been like.
5. Continue to incorporate technology
Our students have become accustomed to the world of technology at their fingertips. It is important for us to continue using these resources to help build upon their skills. We do not want the screen to be the teacher, but we can use the screen to support the skills being taught in class. Making the best of available technologies and resources can help both teachers and students keep learning and communicating, no matter the circumstances.
Facing uncertainty with calm
We truly do not know what tomorrow may bring. It is important as educators to understand these transitions will not be easy for any individual involved. Validate your students’ concerns and feelings and share with them yours. This is an important time for teachers, students, and parents to work together for the benefit of our youngsters. Please know that at any time DaVinci will be here to help ease this transition. Reach out to us if you or your child need assistance in these difficult times.