Adapting to the return to college Considerations and tips


15 Mar

Teachers  and students need time to adapt to being back at college and to having classes facilitated in a face to face environment again. We have all got used to different routines and need time to re-adjust. What we should consider :

  • Commute - time and cost
  • Managing our time
  • Work/life balance
  • Social distancing
  • Change of routine/sleeping patterns etc
  • Classroom dynamics - coming together as a group again
  • In person delivery in college- engagement and interactivity expected
  • (no cameras off)
  • Reset to workplace location – acceptable behaviour and dress code
  • Away from family and pets who have got used to having us around

 How can we re engage students and show them we care?

Some tips to manage the period of re-adjustment 

  • As a teacher be kind to yourself & reassess your work life balance – plan your time to manage this
  • Ensure you protect some time for self care to keep your ‘own tank full’
  • Set clear boundaries with students  on acceptable/respectful classroom behaviour again including punctuality and attendance expectations
  • Take time to talk to students and ask how they are feeling
  • Acknowledge the adjustment
  • Help them see the positives of being back - what is great about it?
  • What challenges does it bring?
  • What help do you need?
  • What help do the students need?
  • Use some resilience strategies on yourself and your students to manage uncertainty and anxiety – help re-build confidence where needed
  • Still uncertainty – acknowledge this and clarify what is happening with assessments
  • Talk about missed work – listen to students and identify different circumstances at home which have contributed to this
  • Support individuals with a catch-up plan – differentiate to avoid feelings of hopelessness and being overwhelmed
  • Help them set realistic goals and check in with progress
  • Have coaching conversations to enable them to set themselves targets
  • Identify where there are mental health issues and promptly refer to correct college support network
  • Work on class dynamic as need to be a team again – weave in some bonding activities
  • Discuss possible barriers to communication including masks, social distancing and asynchronous learning and how you will deal with these as a group
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