Are you ready to be going back to school after COVID-19? This is a stressful season for teachers and students. Whether you are teaching online or in person, here are three surprising tips that will ease anxiety.
1. Don’t Set Up Your Classroom
Seriously. I said it. Let’s think about this for a moment. Your child’s family cannot walk them into class. They cannot physically see what’s going on inside of the classroom. This unknowing causes an extreme amount of anxiety in parents.
I’m sure you’re feeling extreme anxiety right now too! Read this blog for a little motivation.
It’s hardwired in parents to make sure their children are safe, and this unknowing causes an extreme amount of anxiety for parents. They may question whether or not their child will be in a safe and welcoming environment.
While you may have the best intentions, the parents may not know that right off the bat. So instead of pouring your heart and soul into creating what YOU think would be the best environment for your students, create a true partnership with your students and their families.
Invite them to help you design the classroom. Involving students and their families in the design process sends a strong message that you value their input. This helps them feel invested and comfortable as they work in and move around the classroom.
Here’s a quick tutorial of how to use this FREE Design Your Classroom Template. Be sure to click “Make a Copy” to create your own. Click HERE to get your FREE template.
2. Record Yourself
Teach students rules and procedures by modeling them yourself. You may be wondering how? The best way to do this is to record yourself. Record examples and non-examples.
You may want to consider showing students the following procedures:
- walking in the hallway
- unpacking in the morning
- transitions in the classroom
- packing up to go home
- going to and from lunch
Going back to school after COVID-19 is scary. Let’s work to make it more comfortable.
Not only can you use video to model procedures, but you can use it to reinforce these procedures once your students are in the classroom. Use this video to send good examples to parents digitally. Doing this reassures parents that their child is safe and being cared for.
You may want to get to know your students too! These Student Interest Inventories are a great way to get to know your students virtually!
3. Create Classroom Rules TOGETHER!
I love using books to discuss classroom rules. This year, I’ll be recording myself reading books so that I can discuss these books with my students in school and at home.
Before I read each book, we visit a T-chart. One column is labeled “Problem” and the other column is labeled “Solution”. As we read the story, we list the problems in the left column. Then, we quickly discuss how the character might solve the problem, read through, and record the best solution on the anchor chart.
This anchor chart stays up on our wall the entire year, but this year we will be snapping a picture to paste it in your digital classroom so students can reference it for the entire year!
Here’s a list of MUST READ books for the first week of school. This includes Amazon affiliate links.
- What Would Danny Do? School Edition
- Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
- Our Class is a Family
- How Full is Your Bucket?
- We Don’t Eat Our Classmates
- The Day You Begin
Once you have all of the rules and procedures established, create an online Terms of Agreement Form for your class. Have students sign this digitally and keep it in a file so that they can access it at home or at school.
Teaching during this season will not be easy, but we can do it together. Have other suggestions? Comment below and let us know!