Getting back in the Classroom after Lockdown
Finding out schools are on their way to opening back up for on-site learning is a big sigh of relief for teaching staff, students, and parents who have pushed through the tough conditions of remote learning because of the disruptions the Covid-19 pandemic has created on school education.
Once we step into the classroom, there will be some noticeable behavioural attributes students have picked up from the disruptions to their learning. These attributes are caused by the lack of routine and expectations that are used in schools to support the learning environment.
Here are some behavioural factors you may notice with students when teaching onsite:
Students behind in content knowledge and skills
Due to students having diverse learning experiences with remote learning many students may be behind their expected levels in areas of their learning which is a concern on many teacher’s minds.
Student social and emotional skills in tatters!
By students learning from home for a prolonged amount of time, it has limited the amount of social interaction with class members. Students have been learning independently rather than working in groups and learning with one another. This may cause students to feel anxious and shy when coming back into the classroom. They may struggle with working in large groups or being attentive when learning because of tiredness.
Students struggle with classroom routines and expectations
The classroom may feel foreign to students when returning to onsite learning because of the constant changes of different routines students have endured due to going in and out of lockdowns. Some factors could be because of parent or carer routines and the changes in home learning. When students return, some may struggle with on-site learning rules and expectations of longer school times or keeping up with hands being sanitised throughout the day.
What are some ways we can support student learning and skills in the classroom?
· Begin the day by going through the daily outline of what is happening to prepare students to feel less anxious. This also produces a daily routine for students to feel self-assured and what is expected for the day.
· Give students brain breaks throughout the day. Students will be adjusting to longer scheduled learning times and will feel agitated to want to move around. Have a few outdoor and indoor games to engage students back into their learning.
· Ask students how they are feeling throughout the day to support emotional skills and be able to know what they have on their mind.
· Provide students with the chance to work collaboratively to support social skills and engagement within the learning. This will help students to learn from one another and be able to share ideas within the learning content.
· More one-on-one support will be needed to encourage confidence in what students are learning. This will support teachers to review what areas are needed to be visited once again to teach.
We hope this advice will support you and your students when getting back to onsite learning, so everyone can get ready for a prosperous 2022!