TIPS FOR RETURNING TO THE CLASSROOM AFTER COVID-19
Article by Melisa Benge LEVEL 2: Classroom Profiling Instructor Heatley Secondary College, NQ Region.
1. EXPECTATIONS Make sure you revisit your expectations as part of your welcome back routine with your students. You may have done a fabulous job of teaching and reinforcing your expectations at the start of the year, but this won’t guarantee that your students will remember them – or what they look like, sound like and feel like. Model your expectations with your students and clarify any alternate interpretations!
2. Make sure your expectations are positively stated and visible in your room; between 3 and 5 is ideal.
3. Refer to your expectations regularly or until your students are back in the groove of being at school. This may be hard for some students, particularly in relation to devices and social media. Many will have forgotten ‘how to do’ the school routine and you will have to work hard to re-establish a new routine.
4. Revisit your consequences, both positive and negative. Co-construct an updated version with your students and put it on display. Use these consequences as a proactive resource to prompt, encourage and remind.
5. POSITIVE feedback – verbally or nonverbally acknowledge the great behaviours your students are demonstrating. It could be as simple as a thumbs up or positive affirmation about seeing them again eg: “Great to see you looking so excited about being back at school”.
6. Get back into the habit of utilising your Top 5 Strategies:
• Descriptive encouraging
• Cueing with parallel encouragement
• Description of reality
• Verbal redirecting to learning
• Individual close talk
Using your Top 5’s will promote positive classroom environment for both yourself and your students. Remember, they often double up as positive feedback.