You’ve taught in-person before, and you can do it again. The world has changed, but the heart of education hasn’t.
In March 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., teachers and students had to abruptly switch from in-person learning to virtual education. As a teacher, you know first-hand how disruptive this was for everyone involved. This coming fall marks the first time most American schools will be gathering in-person.
While this return to in-person learning is a positive development, the transition won’t come without its unique challenges. Below are four tips for teachers transitioning back to in-person learning.
4 Ways to Make Your Transition to In-person Learning a Success
1) Kick off in-person learning with a True Colors Workshop
There will undoubtedly be a wide range of emotions among your fellow teachers about returning to in-person learning. They have faced many challenges throughout the pandemic and consequently will have many different opinions on “what’s next.” Planning a fun, educational, and shared experience like a True Colors workshop is an engaging way to reunite colleagues and best prepare for the new school year.
Coveted as the industry’s most effective and easy to implement system, True Colors helps K-12 schools of all types and sizes achieve better performance. We distill complex personality assessment and learning theory into a user-friendly and practical tool that enhances the way teachers and students communicate. With all the recent disruptions in education, clear communication is more critical than ever as you transition back to in-person learning.
Our Teaching and Learning Styles Workshop will equip you with the tools to teach in a way that is best suited to the personality of each student. As a result of improved communication, dropout rates, attendance, bullying, graduation rates, and classroom achievement are all improved — as well as your experience and fulfillment as a teacher.
2) Launch a psychologically safe schools initiative
There are new in-person learning anxieties because of COVID-19. Teachers, staff, and students must feel physically and psychologically safe to function at their full potential.
Accomplishing this may feel like a tall order, and while a commitment to psychologically safe schools and classrooms must be held by educational leaders, everyone at your school plays a part in making in-person learning a success.
From working with leadership to officially launch a psychologically safe schools initiative, to getting other teachers on board, to doing all you can to ensure your own classroom’s psychological safety and protection, there is much you can do.
3) Continue utilizing technology during in-person learning
Whether teachers were ready for it or not, the pandemic forced them to engage with technology like never before. Continuing to utilize certain remote tools during in-person learning will ease transition pains. It will also continue teaching your students marketable skills in a tech-savvy economy.
So ask yourself: Which remote learning tools will I bring back in person? Consider which digital tools served you and your students well and which ones can be dismissed.
For example, teaching with shared documents is advantageous whether you are teaching virtually or in-person. It’s also a very practical way to keep moving forward should a leap to virtual learning ever be needed again. Pandemics aside, such reasons as inclement weather or medically required student absences will always remain.
4) Set boundaries as a form of self-care
As the Resilient Educator so correctly put it, “To be the best for your students, you need to be the best you. And that can’t happen without setting some boundaries for yourself.”
For in-person learning, they recommend sticking to a finite grading time, scheduling student help hours, sticking to your own rules, taking a non-negotiable break for yourself, and making each day a fresh start.
Establishing such boundaries is step one. Step two is communicating them to your colleagues and, as appropriate, to your students. Likewise, communicating them to a trusted person outside of your school, such as a partner or friend, is a great way to have accountability.
You’ve taught in-person before, and you can do it again. The world has changed, but the heart of education hasn’t. Students’ wellbeing and education matters. Your work matters.
Igniting a love of learning and having a real impact on kids’ lives is as meaningful and rewarding as ever. Humans need in-person community. You and your students are no exception. So look forward to the transition back to in-person learning — challenges and all.
Letting your True Colors shine brightly is part of self-care. A True Colors online assessment with individual consultation will help you understand your True Colors Spectrum and how to find a work/life balance that fits your personality style.