During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, schools closed their doors to students early. Most schools continued the school year with either virtual learning or they sent home learning packets with worksheets and activities.
One aspect of returning to school is following your district's social distance guidelines. We have created some templates for your PosterArtist Software for the community to help inform your students and staff, decorate your classroom or hallways, or even use some of them to create floor stickers using our Print Peel & Place Repositionable Paper! You can also create your own social distance posters and stickers using PosterArtist, or print them from the CDC Print Resources Here.
Download the above posters into your PosterArtist Software here: Social Distance and Safety
Don't have our System yet? Download these posters in a PDF form here: Social Distance and Safety PDF
We are here to help the teacher community Inform, Instruct, & Inspire!
Children and adults were both faced with many challenges during this pandemic, including but not limited to:
- Extended periods of isolation
- Changes in daily routines
- Increased fear and anxiety
- Lack of predictability and stability
Some even experienced:
- Loss of loved ones
- Limited access to internet or food
- Abuse, Neglect, Exposure to Violence
It is our job in the community to reflect on how this unprecedented situation affected not only the children that will be returning to school, but their teachers, administration, and parents. Creating a positive school environment for students will be incredibly important this year. Many children did not even get to tell their teachers goodbye for the year. Now they will begin the year with an entirely new teacher, classroom, environment and a new opportunity to create positive learning experiences.
I know that my 2 children always loved to give their teacher a hug in the morning and before they left. They also hugged their friends many times during the day when they got to see them between classrooms. This one simple thing that gives them comfort and joy is not going to be allowed this year. I have no way to tell how this seemingly small thing will affect my children's mentality, but what I can do...is give them constant positive reinforcement and show them ways to cope and connect with others within the realm of social distance protocols.
Helping give schools the tools and materials they need to maintain well-being and a positive school climate can include creating:
- A sense of community - over the rest of the summer, connect virtually with the community.
- Positive messaging- prioritizing uplifting staff and students by sharing positive actions and behaviors.
- Build Familiarity -Help your student wear a face mask in public to get them used to the new expected behaviors (if it will be enforced in your schools return plans).
- Belonging Routines -Teachers can work on creating a classroom motto, song, or chant that is repeated at the beginning or end of class every day.
- Shared Projects -Classrooms can create a class project together, or virtually for the school building. Assign different projects to each student that can be combined for a final project. It will give them a sense of accomplishment and belonging.
The following are additional resources that help support your understanding of Social Emotional Learning and building an environment of trusting relationships:
- Stories from the Field: Building Strong Teacher-Student Relationships in the Classroom
- How to ensure strong social connections during physical isolation and Virtual Learning
Adult Self-Care for Back to School
School Personnel and parents may have struggled with anxiety, depression, isolation, job loss, and many unknown struggles during the stay at home order. They may be anxious about the uncertainty of what school will be like when they return. Teachers are worried about the logistics of teaching in class and virtually within the same week. Will they receive help or will they be responsible for figuring out each child's individual learning path and make lessons for inside and outside of the classroom?
You know what I think is most important to remember going back to school? Students don't need a perfect teacher...students need a happy teacher who is going to make them excited to come to school and grow a love for learning! Take the time to self-care, learn how to make the best of the situation, create fun games for your classroom, and just do your best.
I have a friend who will be a first time kindergarten teacher this year and her idea for her class was to make fun games to help encourage social distancing. What are your ideas for your classroom?
How will you help create meaningful and effective learning experiences?
There are so many questions that teachers have about returning to school this year. What questions do you have?