The summer has come and gone. In just a few short weeks, many teachers will be returning to their classrooms to prepare for the school year. Schools across the nation are returning to full in-person instruction. It’s time to do what we do best — TEACH.
What we are forgetting is that the students are the ones paying the ultimate price in their education. Last year my son was in hybrid classes after being remote for the first 7 months of school. He stayed in the house, wasn’t focusing on school, and found ways to “cheat” through his assignments. It was not only hard on him learning from home, but it was difficult for me to check his learning while teaching from home 100% of the time. The fact that he was not in in-person learning changed him and his education.
Now with schools going back to in-person learning, we need to do what’s best for our kids. We need to teach them the skills needed to succeed. We need to be on the same team.
Walking back to the classroom will be a new experience for us all whether we are veteran teachers or ones who are new to the profession. I have not been in my classroom for over a year. During the 2020-2021 school year, I was a remote teacher 100% of the time. My desk was in the den where I set up dual monitors, A TV tray, and bought several educational resources to help me throughout the year. Instead of standing up for a majority of my time each day, I was sitting down teaching to mostly black screens. This type of teaching is unorthodox in creating those connections with students.
With the new school year starting, I am able to refocus my attention on the new year.
Excitedly, I bought all my materials from last year to the school, plugged it all in, and sat to look at my classroom. I sat there just thinking that in a few short days I would be face to face with students, staff, and colleagues.
There’s been a lot of discussion about self-care. As teachers, we know the job can be emotionally, mentally, and physically draining. Even though I put my workouts on hold, I found time to re-energize myself as time permitted. These workouts have helped me not only physically get back into shape but helped me mentally and emotionally as well. I get up early to go for a 7-mile bike ride or lift some weights, increasing the weight each time. Self-care is important to continue working on throughout the entire year not just when there is time.
Whether you were a teacher in the classroom the entire time, part-time, or not at all last year, we need to prepare ourselves more mentally as students enter the classroom. Coming back in the fall will be another difficult transition for the students. For the first few days of school, it’s important to not focus on the curriculum but to focus on welcoming the students back by creating as much of a normal school year as possible. However, we must prepare ourselves that it might not be as easy as it seems. There might be some pushback from students who were remote the prior year adjusting to a ‘regular’ school day instead of logging in through zoom.
Focus on Students
Social media outlets and platforms definitely changed the language of learning. My own son’s transitions were difficult from part-time school to remote to full in person. Student success is the number one priority to being successful.
No matter what you will be returning to in the fall, let's focus on ourselves and helping students transition back into the classroom. We do not need to focus on any political agenda but work towards the future and the success of our students.
About the Author
Faceboook: Kristen Koppers, author
Kristen Koppers, M.Ed., NBCT, is a blogger, presenter, self-published author, author, and high school ELA educator as well as an adjunct professor at a local junior college. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and has a Master’s degree in English and a second Master’s degree in Education Administration. Kristen is the author of Differentiated Instruction in the Teacher Profession (2019) and The Perfect Puppy (2020) and has contributed to several publications, including the #100StopSeries.
Differentiated Instruction in the Teaching Profession is an innovative way to use critical thinking skills to create strategies to help all students succeed. This book is for educators of all levels who want to take the next step into differentiating their instruction. You can find Differentiated Instruction in the Teaching Profession and Kristen’s other books on Amazon.