Returning to Classroom Processes and Procedures

Returning to Classroom Processes and Procedures

I think we can all agree that the 2020-2021 school year was more than a little stressful. Between the fear of going back to the classroom and the stress of hybrid or online teaching, we were really all over the place. We weren’t alone though. Our students were also being pulled this way and that way. So, how do we return to regular classroom processes and procedures?

Step 1: Don’t Pretend

One of the worst things we can do for ourselves and our students is pretend like this is “just another year.” It may seem like it, but in reality, we still have a lot fear. We are unsure what the pandemic has in store for us; therefore, we can’t know how long this “normal year” is going to last. Give yourself and your students the go ahead to be fearful and to ask questions and get them answered. Be open to your students’ questions and don’t lie to them. You are allowed to not know.

Step 2: Develop Simple Processes and Procedures

When students come back into your classroom, remember they haven’t been in this situation in a long time. In that time, a lot has happened to them and their families. For example, a family member may have gotten sick, laid off, or something more. We need to be sensitive to the changes our students have faced and keep everything very clear. When going over your expectations, processes, and procedures, keep is simple and do not overwhelm your students. For example, instead of throwing everything at them at one time, do what needs to be done and then move to step 3. You can come back to this step as many times as needed to get all of your processes and procedures handled.

Step 3: Bring Back the Icebreaker!

I don’t know about all of you, but I have veered away from too many icebreakers in the past few years for no reason other than I don’t care for them. This year, they are needed. We have all been very disconnected the last month. Icebreakers are a great way to reconnect. Plus, you can add a little art or writing into the activity which can help you see how well students follow directions. For example, if you have students make a shield with pictures that represent them and then have them write about it, you can see how well they follow your criteria as well as their writing abilities.

Step 4: Make Patience a Priority

Because we have been gone for so long, there are some pieces of being back in regular school that are going to be difficult. No matter how difficult it is, you need to make sure you fill up your patience tank before you come to school. You will need to remind students more often what is and what isn’t school appropriate. You will also need to give yourself more patience than you have before. Many of us haven’t been back to school for a year. We are all bound to forget something and we need to be patient with ourselves as well.

Step 5: Review! Review! Review!

This is a whole new ballgame! The pandemic has taken its toll on all of us; therefore, it’s like the first day of kindergarten all over again for our students no matter what their age. Plus, it’s like the first day of teaching for many of us!  Make sure you review all of those processes and procedures as often as possible. You can do this by doing a walkthrough before lunch, making it into a bell ringer activity, or simple talking about the processes and procedures with your students.

The 2021-2022 school year is still uncertain, so make sure everything in your classroom is crystal clear for your sanity and theirs! We are all ready to see students again no matter how frightening that can be. So, let’s embrace this opportunity to be together and to learn together. Welcome back!

1 comment:


Join my newsletter and get a free lesson plan.

Subscribe to get exclusive freebies, learn about sales, and be the first to learn about new content.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit