Same school. Same grade. Same classroom. Same curriculum. And yet, everything seems to be different. You may have your students physically in your classroom, but you’re all (supposed to be) wearing masks (we know how kids are). You may be in your living room, home office, or even an empty classroom where you see your students on your computer screen. You may be doing some combination of the two. Whatever it is, wherever you are, we know it’s nothing like the start you had last year. Just remember though, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. 

2020 has certainly proven to be a year of change; socially, politically, medically, and educationally. We’ve had to find new ways around everyday tasks, like going to the grocery store or to our doctor’s appointments. Many people have adapted to the working-from-home model. Many more people are still looking for new employment after their companies closed down. Business owners are carefully watching the news and waiting on decisions from governors to decide whether they can reopen now. 

There were debates for weeks about what schools were going to do before the start of this year. For better or worse, your school is open in some form or fashion. Our advice? Embrace the crazy and hold on to what you know!

What’s the same? 

  • Still get to know your students. Make that priority #1. In this time of uncertainty and reluctance, students need to know that they can still be seen and heard. 
  • Do your best to be available for your students, and each other. 
  • Your students’ need to be social
  • RIGOR RIGOR RIGOR
  • Your need to be flexible
  • Some students’ reluctance to engage

What are some struggles?

  • Technical difficulties/access
  • Masks
  • Distancing if your school is meeting face-to-face (especially in lower grades)
  • Accountability 
  • Fewer physical energy outlets due to cancelled sport seasons and extracurricular activities
  • Masks (it’s worth repeating because neither teachers nor students - especially students - ever expected to have to wear a mask for 8+ hours a day!)

After these first several weeks, you should now be settling into your routines and getting an idea of how these next few months are going to look. While you’re making sure to be covering the curriculum, don’t forget that your students also need YOU! They need to know that they are seen, heard, and above all, loved.