Lessons Wirth Learning: Reflections On In-Person Teaching During Covid-19

We are now eleven weeks into Covid-19 teaching and whenever I say that to a fellow teacher, they say they can’t believe we’ve made it this long! I think we all thought we’d be distance teaching a few weeks in, but here we are, holding down the fort.

I love being in-person. I can’t express how much better my days are simply for the fact that I get to be in the classroom with my kids. Sure, there are challenges, but the upside is truly worth all the rest. So, here are my reflections on in-person teaching during Covid-19. I sure hope this post doesn’t jinx us.

Wearing a mask is easier than expected

Who would have thought we’d actually get used to wearing masks? And by we, I mean myself and my kiddos! It’s second nature at this point. Yes, there are moments they forget and they do the really cute “look totally alarmed and cover their mouth” thing but overall, masks do not cause the headache in my day I thought they would.

It’s now a whole lot easier to utilize tech in the classroom.

These kids learned so much technology during distance learning that now, when I show them something “new” they’ve got it. I have eight year olds who know keyboard shortcuts and how to bookmark a website! It’s crazy! Being in-person we try to deliver an in-person experience, however, tech is the reality and these kids know more than they let on.

Our students want to be in school.

“I just wish I could give you a hug!” I hear it almost daily. The excitement and relief from being in the classroom, from having a daily routine to follow, is evident. Seeing their friends’ (masked) faces is a breath of fresh air. Running together on the playground makes all. the. difference.

Our students want to be in school which means, we’re having a year like no other. There is engagement and curiosity and understanding that we are lucky to be where we are.

Taking things slow in the beginning of the year makes a huge difference.

Holy cow, I want to start every year the way we started this year. Admin actually said: don’t worry about academics in the beginning. Why isn’t this always the message?! I’ve built such incredible relationships with my students simply by having the time to get to know them. Now, I get that curriculum and baseline testing is necessary but the kids are alright. They’re better than alright! I would say, they’re thriving.

There will be procedures we keep after the world returns to “normal.”

Can I get a “whoot whoot” for virtual parent teacher conferences? How about increased hand washing and extra teacher planning time? There are many things this year that have simply worked. I hope we’ll take them with us, moving forward, when things return to “normal.” This isn’t a lost year, just because it’s different. We can learn and grow from this just as we have all other years. We can come out of this better for it.

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