Classes have been going on in the virtual environment for what seems to be like a very long time. In reality, it has been only about a year, but there has been a definite shift in how education happens. Because of Covid and the shift to virtual learning, how classes are run, how learning happens, and the expectations there are have majorly changed. Now schools are transitioning back to the physical classroom and education is going to change again. A changing system can be stressful so we have put together a list of tips that will make the transition a bit easier.
Having grace is one of the biggest things you need to remember when transitioning back to the physical classroom. A lot of things are changing, and new routines will need to happen. Expectations and rules are also going to shift. All of this change can be a little turbulent and frustrating for everyone. It is important to remember to have grace with not only your students but with yourself as well. Realize that everyone needs an adjustment period and that it isn’t always going to go smoothly.
Redefine Rules and Expectations
Rules and expectations in the physical environment and the distance learning environment differ. If you are a school that has been in the virtual environment all year, your students have no idea what is expected of them. When students come back to school, you are going to have to redefine and explain the rules and expectations. You will need to remind your students of these throughout the start of school until everyone remembers what is expected.
Set Up Your Classroom
The risk of Covid getting passed from person to person while in school is there. Before the first day of class, you need to get your classroom set up to follow social distancing guidelines. Desks need to be space out and PPE gear needs to be put in place. It is also a good idea to park off a space 6 feet around your desk where your students are not allowed to step into. It will help keep any potential germs off of your things.
Get Ready to Support Hybrid Learning
If your school is like most schools, your students are probably not going back to the classroom full time. Students may be in the physical classroom one to two days a week and they may be learning the rest of the day from home. If you are indeed going to be doing hybrid learning, you need to make sure you have tools and plans ready that will support that.
One of the ways you can do this is by planning out your lessons so both your students in the physical classroom and the ones learning virtually can complete the lesson. This may take a little altering so the lesson plan fits both groups, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Another thing that will be helpful is making sure you have video equipment up and running. If the students at home are supposed to be participating virtually during class time, you will need a webcam and some type of video platform that will support the lesson.
Classroom management software is an awesome tool that can be used in both the physical classroom, virtual classroom, and hybrid classroom. With classroom management software like Vision, you can monitor what all of your students are doing on their devices no matter the environment. You also can push links, add web filters, and more. It makes keeping your students safe and on-task a lot easier.