If you haven’t been back on campus, most campuses are in progress of transitioning back to in person or a variation of in person. And for those of you who have been off campus since last March: this is a huge deal to go back in sections, or even as close to 100% student body as possible.
Some reminders that we might need to bring with us as those last campuses migrate back to in person learning.
- Everyone is in a different place of returning. It will take a lot of grace those first days for students who are in different places about returning, knowing how to participate on a school. And some of those students will not know until the second the first bell rings what that means.
- Staff are in equally different places of returning. Some staff with health concerns, even with vaccinations, may have personal concerns about getting their emergency treatment at work by coworkers. Think about your coworker who has diabetes, epilepsy, and other hidden disabilities. If you know about their disability, ask them how they want their emergency plan followed now with protocols in place.
- Have a space for our coteachers and paraeducators. Count on their placement in your classroom.
- Be ready to help students with mask behavior, at least the ones who are supposed to wear masks.
- Wash your hands more often.
- Remember all the increased communication? It needs to return. If you are transitioning to doing a hybrid for your personal work day or if you are staying on campus all day, all the little things matter. If you are bad at checking your email, figure out a system for you to check your email. If you know you need to re-read your email, find that time to re-read.
- Take the time every day to have the space to be yourself. You have done several dozen new things in the past year. Reaching students online was perhaps the biggest challenge, but there were good things and challenging things about teaching that way.
- Label everything you intend on bringing. Just in case.
- Yes, this is going to be very much like the beginning of the school year. Bring your patience and your smile.
Yes, this is going to be very much like the beginning of the school year. Bring your patience and your smile.ParaEducate
If you don’t know: everything eventually will be all right. Have space for things to go wrong but celebrate the things that are going all right. Don’t forget what you have spent a year learning. Going back is not without the challenges. Take care of each other. Everyone will get what they need.
If you were wondering…
ParaEducate really does not have a stance which is better– distance, hybrid, or in person. We know more students are magically gone and that some feel they have lost ‘time’. In reality, there are only some measures that truly mean we have lost learning. But that learning we have done is different.
We know many students who have just really excelled in distance. We also know we have seen students ignore certain skills or not grow those skills that might benefit them long term. We honestly know that we have to support our staff who are out there doing all three in various capacities.
One more thing…
We just learned this morning that KU SOARS, the summer institute we have attended for the last two years will be in July! We had a lot of fun, and once again, this year, we will be on a virtual platform meeting so many different people. Based in Kansas, KU SOARS 2021 will once again reach out to so many folks about Inclusive Education. We hope you will consider attending. Announced already, July 14, Dan Habib and July 15, Dr. Karrie Shogren with break out sessions July 16. KU SOARS is $25 per person this year.
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published during the academic school year on Mondays, unless a holiday or announced day off. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.