Building a Foundation for a Successful School Year

If you aren’t sure what to expect in this coming school year or are unsure whether your school district will begin the year with face-to-face classroom instruction, then you are not alone. Most educators are grappling with these questions, and the uncertainty that COVID-19 has caused in the education sector can be felt worldwide.

It is crucial to prepare for a variety of possible teaching scenarios. However, regardless of how your district plans to provide its instruction at the start of the new academic year, educators must have a robust academic scaffold that they can depend upon. 

Let’s look at developing the foundation that you and your learners need for a successful year. 

Creating a Concise List of Routines

One of the best places to start when planning out an uncertain academic year is to make a shortlist of expectations and routines. These should be clear and concise so that learners can follow them easily without potential confusion. 

You can model anything from how to organize a binder to how to use a glue stick. When starting remote teaching, you will need to provide your learners with images of examples, and you should also make some videos on how to make notes and hand in work.

Creating this set of routines will set the standard that will be adhered to throughout the year.      Remember that, when teaching routines, use material that is very engaging, not new learning. 

Developing a “How To” Section

In concurrence with the set of routines, it is important to have a section within your digital platform distinct from your academic sections that contain videos or images of “how to.” This serves for you, the academic head of the class, to reduce the feedback/email sessions that are not based on academics. 

Remote learning is not a simple thing, and it will take time for you to develop lessons, grade work and provide helpful, precise feedback. Creating this “how to” section will help you save time. 

Remember that part of digital learning requires skills that help gain access to the curriculum. 

Allowing & Encouraging Choice

We are not in control of the world around us, and this is quite an unsettling fact. By providing activities within your academics, you meet the deep need that learners have to be somewhat in control. 

As an educator, you can’t know what goes on in every home environment, but by creating opportunities for choice, you can allow learners to feel successful in their learning environment. This might come in the form of cross-curricular activities, challenges or project-based learning. 

Remember: we all want to be in the driver’s seat, and learners are no different. 

Conclusion

You can never be too prepared for a new academic year, especially when the year is as uncertain as 2021. We hope that you’ll be able to employ the techniques above and that they will provide a little more clarity.

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