Put down that sourdough starter and dust off those banana bread crumbs! We’re going from click to brick- from mobile learning back to the “old fashioned” way. Does it have to be old fashioned, though? After months of adjusting your teaching style to suit the mobile learning environment, you’ve grown, learned, and adapted immensely. Transitioning back into the classroom will no doubt be a nostalgic trip into what used to be the norm, but you won’t be the same. This is a good thing! You’re bringing newly minted digital learning skills with you. What will the classroom look like come August or September? Regardless of what your district plan looks like for the fall, here are some ways you can ease the transition back to the physical classroom.
Keep your LMS
You most likely enlisted the assistance of an LMS (learning management system) to help streamline your communication with students. A one-stop-shop to assign, share, and keep in touch with your students. If this was a new feature in your classroom this spring, then don’t abandon it come fall. You can continue to use your LMS to communicate with families and students and keep your classroom partly mobile. This can help to make your life easier by maintaining the system you were working with all spring and managing assignments online in a paperless environment. This can also give you a leg up if schools close again in the winter (hopefully it won’t come to that). Having your classroom ready to go online is a valuable asset. As administrators, you can support your school by selecting one system to use school-wide to help families and students by having fewer platforms to juggle.
Leverage your new online prowess
Maybe you were the tech wizard teacher at your school, but if you weren’t, don’t leave all those great new tools you started to use go by the wayside. You can still use your blogs, discussion forums, resources, apps, and cloud-based software to keep your classroom tech-friendly. Not only will this make your life easier, but it will engage your students as well. Continue to keep tech an integral part of your classroom and you will be prepared for anything this coming year throws your way. You are ready for more than you think. As administrators, you can support and continue to facilitate and provide professional development opportunities for your teachers and staff.
Take advantage of blended learning opportunities
Depending on what your district plans on doing, this may be more or less essential. Blended learning means combining in person and synchronous lessons with self-paced and self-guided asynchronous learning. You may not have the luxury of seeing all your students in person every day. This is an ideal opportunity to make the most of a blended learning setup. Allowing your students to access material to prepare for the lesson and then using in person time for lectures and one on one or small group instruction can maximize your in person time. You can rely on your LMS for these resources and to maintain communication while the students are not in the classroom.
You got this
Lastly, and most importantly, you are amazing! You have done so much to help your students learn in extremely difficult times. Your students no doubt have had different levels of support or home learning. You will hopefully have them all back in front of you, but no matter what the new teaching experience brings, you will be able to help guide and lead your students through whatever medium this new school year may bring. Transitioning online was a huge shift for all teachers, and you aced it. You can do anything.
For more tips on preparing for back to school, check out this list of tips.