Back to School, January 2021: The learnings so far and how we can be prepared
The return to school in January will be very different from other years. Schools will still be managing the additional complexity of blended learning and supporting students who need to self-isolate. But, one thing we know for sure is that we’ve learnt an enormous amount and we’re armed with some useful tools to take with us into the new year.
The last term was a steep learning curve from the closure of schools and remote learning to learning while following social distancing guidelines.
We’ve come this far – What have we learned and how can we prepare for the new year?
Learning from home will have felt like an uphill struggle. But there have been a few windows of positivity during this time; some that will help us feel more confident and prepared to go into the new school year.
Below is a rundown of some of the learnings that will help us conquer the term ahead.
Students have become more independent and self-motivated.
Working from home has taught students to not only self motivate but become more independent in their learning. Teachers haven’t been there to offer constant support – it’s an important life lesson for students who choose to go onto higher education.
Students who choose to go to university or college will need a strong independent work ethic, as they won’t be monitored and held accountable in the same way as they are at school.
This also translates into the professional workplace where self-motivation is essential for success. Self-motivation is becoming increasingly important as a post-covid world has resulted in a more flexible work from home lifestyle.
Boosted confidence to reach out and ask questions
Teachers are pretty much pros at spotting a student that’s struggling or falling behind. Even if students aren’t openly asking for help, teachers know. But, learning from home has made it trickier for teachers to recognise the signs of a student falling behind.
This has forced students to speak up and let their teachers know when they’re struggling or need help – which in turn will have boosted the confidence of those students who have pushed themselves out of their comfort zone.
Some teachers have noted that students who are often quiet in a classroom have become more confident and engaged with work online – with a noticeable absence of peer pressure.
How can we prepare to start school again, this time around?
Get the setup spot on – ‘tidy room, tidy mind.’
The likelihood is we’re going to be in this for a little longer, so we can only do our best to have a positive and comfortable workspace. Science backs this up too – an untidy workspace can you leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, whereas a tidy one helps you to feel focused.
Create a learning environment that is purely dedicated to learning and then keep your home environment purely dedicated to relaxing and creativity.
Take a positive approach.
This time around, there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, thankfully. But starting the new school year will still be different, it’s going to take a positive mindset to attack it head-on.
According to scientists in Japan, when our thoughts are negative, we colour everything we see with negativity and make it far harder for ourselves to achieve success. So, try to see the positives in everything, it can help to keep a note of everything you are grateful for, a ‘gratuity’ diary, this allows you to hold yourself accountable and rationalise all of the good things you have, rather than focusing on the bad.
We know how this works now – And, we’re getting good at it.
Everyone has done exceptionally well to adapt to such a huge change, so quickly and this January, we’ll know what to expect. We can now arm ourselves with the confidence to attack blended learning head-on.