Teaching with Technology
5 Tips You Need to Know When Teaching Post-Pandemic
Dr. Susan H. Shapiro, Assistant Professor at the Touro College Graduate School of Education and a published author, offers her top five tips to help educators see ongoing success in their classrooms.
- By Susan H. Shapiro
As the COVID
pandemic surged globally, many of us found ourselves unprepared for
the ways in which this deadly virus would affect our daily lives.
School aged children and their teachers, who were forced to make the
quick transition from in-person to virtual or hybrid learning almost
overnight, have faced countless difficulties along the way.
As students and
teachers prepare to go back to the classroom full-time this fall,
there are many important lessons learned during the pandemic that
teachers should consider implementing into their curriculum.
Here are my top5
tips to help educators see ongoing success in their classrooms.
gentle with yourselves, students and their parents
experienced some level of trauma during COVID-19 and going back to
the classroom to resume a normal day to day routine may bring up some
issues for the educator at the front of the classroom, as well as
their students and their caregivers.
adding deep breathing exercises to each day’s activities, and
strongly urge educators to do constant check-ins to ensure everyone
is doing OK while navigating this new normal. These check-ins should
continue year-round and we need to remain vigilant to ensure
everyone’s mental health is top priority..
up children to work in small groups, first allow for socialization
quarantining to protect themselves and their family during the
pandemic, many children were isolated and unable to play with other
kids their age in large groups. Children need time to catch up and
reacquaint themselves with their peers before any real work can get
done, thus teachers should factor this vital social
time into lessons plans. It would be wise for teachers to
encourage some initial socialization so their students will then be
able to turn their full attention to completing the task at hand.
and accept that learning has slipped for everyone
There is no
finish line for learning; it’s a process. We must
expect that children won’t necessarily be at the same level of
learning that they were last year or even the year before. While this
will likely frustrate everyone involved at points along the learning
process, I advise that this should considered when creating the new
classroom curriculum to ensure that students are getting a refresh on
complex topics to reduce any discouragement.
cases, school communication has changed
for the better
As a teacher, you
know how important ongoing communication with student’s caregivers
is and how effective communication benefits everyone involved. During
the pandemic, educators spent time speaking to these caregivers via
video on Zoom or remained closely connected via email and/or text.
Educators must maintain these high levels of communication with
parents and caregivers now and in the future to assist students in
overcoming various obstacles, whether it’s via email, Zoom
conferences, or even WhatsApp.
throw away any advances made
communication platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, online
learning games like Kahoot, and Google Classroom, are free services
enabling students and teachers to remain connected inside and outside
of the classroom walls, all of which were all heavily relied upon
during the pandemic. Just because we’re now headed back to the
classroom, it doesn’t mean teachers should put an end to utilizing
these types of innovative technology. In fact, Dr. I strongly urge
global educators continue leveraging these platforms, and even
integrate them into lesson plans when appropriate as children have
varied learning styles. These tools can serve as a vital supplement
reinforcing what is being taught inside the walls of the classroom.
Susan H. Shapiro, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood and Special Education at Touro Graduate School of Education and is the Co-Director of the New DEEL (Democratic Ethical Educational Leadership) Community Network. She earned her master’s degree in elementary and early childhood education from Bank Street College of Education and her doctoral degree from the Steinhardt School at New York University in Educational Leadership. She has been published in journals and written books on topics of early childhood leadership, crisis and ethical leadership.