Due to COVID-19, the past school year was a tremendous challenge. The unprecedented event forced students, teachers, and parents to learn new skills and adapt to changing requirements. What did the past school year teach us?
- Communication that keeps parents and students informed is vital and must continue
- Self-care and community involvement is essential for managing stress
- A brick-and-mortar classroom is helpful and gives all students a chance
- There is no one-size-fits-all in education
- Virtual learning taught students valuable technological skills
Now, as we move into the start of another school year and educators seek to implement those lessons learned from the pandemic, many are nervous. Last year was uniquely tricky. Will the upcoming school year be the same? No matter what happens in the months to come, it’s essential to have a plan. Here are six items to help you start the new school year off right.
Procedures and guidelines are absolute necessities and are extremely helpful in all parts of life. Education is no exception, and ground rules are a must. Pupils learn best when they know what to anticipate. Consider starting the first day with a presentation of sorts – something that explains procedures and responsibilities and ensures that all students can be successful. Giving students a roadmap to success will help them know what to expect.
Predictability, reliability, and consistency are vital for helping students thrive in a classroom environment. It’s good to have a consistent start to the day and other activities that the students can expect. It may be helpful to create an agenda before your students arrive, so they know what will happen on a particular day. This can help them stay on task and facilitate transitional periods.
A cheerful greeting to each student impacts their learning while raising their level of engagement. Take it a step further with positive reinforcement. If a student meets your expectations, offer specific praise. You must identify the particular behavior to encourage it. Identifying specific actions works for negative behavior too. Keep your students motivated and help them stay engaged. When things get frustrating or tough, remember that there is always a positive way to reconcile situations.
Know the Back-to-School Guidelines
All school districts handle returning to school differently, and the plans can change. In the time leading up to school opening, make sure you are familiar with your district’s guidelines. This information will help you modify your plans for the year to keep students safe. If your school hasn’t provided guidelines, it’s a good idea to reach out and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Expect and Plan for a New Classroom Routine
This coming school year will be different and may force you to adopt a new classroom routine. Although it may differ from previous years, it is essential to keep it consistent. Again, a predictable pattern helps students thrive in the classroom. Take some of your favorite things and find a way to incorporate them successfully into your new routine.
Keep Everyone Informed Ahead of Time
One of the best ways to help students and families in the new school year is to make sure everyone knows the game plan ahead of time. By putting out guidelines and expectations in advance, you can limit uncertainty, confusion, and stress regarding the coming school year. This will help all parties with a more confident start.
Arbor Associates offers a wide range of staffing solutions for the education industry. We look forward to helping you and your students in any way we can.