Teaching in 2020 forced us all to change – quickly!
Well, that was one crazy year! Teaching in 2020 made us all change and quickly figure out how to teach kindergarten in a brand new way. As we enter 2021 we are still learning how to teach our kindergarten students in a new way. Whether you are still remote, hybrid or face-to-face teaching in 2021 will continue to be different. So our traditional teacher goals will need to adjust to the new reality of teaching.
Here’s the good news, change isn’t always a negative thing. Change can be a real positive in our students’ lives.
Here are three tips for teaching in 2021.
When the world stopped in March of 2020 we all needed to quickly learn how to teach remotely. We didn’t have any time to make a plan. We had to build the plane while we were flying it. However, we knew our students needed us and we quickly adapted. But here’s the thing, so many of us started doing everything. We all tried new teaching strategies. Our administrations seemed to change the expectations daily. As we settled into using Zoom and figure out the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning (remember when we didn’t know what that meant?) we didn’t really have a long-term plan. We were in survival mode. Well, now it’s time to get organized and developed a long-term plan. Because here is it 2021 and we are not fully back to normal yet.
Step #1 Become an expert on one platform
Choose one platform and become an expert. Dig deep into your learning. Choose a digital platform that works for you and then learn everything about it. Kindergarten teachers have many options. Google Classroom, Boom Learning, and Seesaw. Whichever platform you decide will be your go-to platform for digital learning, learn as much about it as you can. Each digital learning platform has many wonderful features. Now is the time to learn all the details.
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#2 Practice Self Care
Yes, we have all heard that we need to take care of ourselves, but teachers are so conditioned to putting their students first that this can be difficult for many of us. Remote learning may not continue into 2022 (except as a replacement for snow days. ) However, digital learning is here to stay. Now that the box is open we can’t close it. Learning to use digital resources in our kindergarten classroom is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s crucial you take care of yourself. Remember what the stewardess tells mothers on every flight. The same is true for teachers. Give yourself the oxygen first then take care of your kindergarten and first-grade students. You must take care of yourself first. We all work so hard, but that can lead to burnout and crying jags. Make sure you take some time to do the things that make you happy. Spend time with friends and family even if it is on zoom. Spending some time laughing will totally change your mindset. If exercise makes you clear-headed then jump on that Peleton, Yoga mat, or take a walk. Getting moving can do wonders for your self-confidence. Start a hobby. yes, remember when you actually did activities just because they brought you joy? Start or revive a hobby that makes you happy. Getting your mind on something different will be good for your soul.
#3 Connect with the people around you.
One of the biggest impacts of 2020 and remote teaching is the loss of personal connection with friends, family, and kids. You name them, we missed them. If 2020 taught us anything it’s that we are social beings and we need each other. So let’s make sure our teaching goals for 2021 include social connection. Not just with our students but with our colleagues. We’ve all sat in on Zoom meetings where we say nothing. It’s hard to have friendly chats in a Zoom staff meeting, but it’s crucial for our well being to make sure we feel connected. As the world starts to open make time to have lunch with a teacher friend, or with a group of students. Let’s bring chattiness back. Connect, laugh, and let’s make 2021 just as impactful as 2020 only in a very positive way.
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