I don’t know about you but I am nervous about heading back to school. All the uncertainly is nerve-wracking.
- Will I be teaching online?
- Will I be at home?
- Will I be in school?
- How can I keep a mask on all day and prevent getting sick?
- How can we socially distance in a class above 25 students?
- Do I have to change the way I teach with group work and project-based learning?
- Will my son be in school?
- How are we going to manage to work from home while having our two little kids home too?
Here are my goals for the new school year and what I am going to control:
Technology to make my life easier: I am going to use the following technology tools to make in-person or distance learning easier! Incorporating technology into daily instruction is one way in which teachers can leverage more time, restructure learning activities so they become more meaningful and provide opportunities for more rigorous instruction. Digital tools can be seamlessly integrated into the curriculum to save teachers time and enhance learning time. I got these headphones and backdrop for distance learning!
- Socrative is a powerful program when implemented correctly within a classroom. The easy setup and classroom networking will appeal to the most technologically-challenged teacher. Students in your class will also love the instant game-like feel of the program and the positive feedback they will receive. I wholeheartedly recommend this program for any classroom.
- Padlet is a useful discussion tool to collect student ideas, brainstorm, and more. Use Padlet to collect links and information to share with students. You can open it to comments, discussions, or viewpoints from students. They can even contribute to other sources or add comments to other students’ posts. Check it out today!
- Edpuzzle– Easily create beautiful interactive video lessons for your students that you can integrate right into your LMS. It is an incredible, easy-to-use video platform that helps teachers save time, boost classroom engagement, and improve student learning through video lessons. EDpuzzle also collects data as students watch and interact with the video. Best of all, it’s completely free! Track students’ progress with hassle-free analytics. You can even use already- created videos from the crash course, Khan Academy, and more! It is integrated with Google Classroom so you can just link it super easy to your class. Here’s an edpuzzle.
Teacher Organization: Teacher organization is an essential skill in education. I consider myself a highly organized person, possibly due to my mother, yet many students and teachers have never perfected this elusive talent. I am also going to make keeping my desk clean a priority in my life. No more wasted time reorganizing my desk! Read more here.
Messaging students: I am going to make sure all my students are in my remind account so I can message parents and students easily without having to do more work. Remind is a communication platform that helps educators reach students and parents wherever they are located. I am also going to use my Google Voice number to call students and parents. That way they do not have my personal cell phone number but I can still make and receive calls.
Do Not Disturb: If we are distance learning, I am going to separate work time from family time, making sure I force myself to disconnect from work at a certain point in the day. I made the mistake of working at all hours of the night and day during this past spring quarantine, and I found myself quickly being burnt out like a brand new first-year teacher. I am going to do my best to leave work at work and set definite hours if we are teaching from home.
#Blacklivesmatter : I am going to teach about Black Lives Matter with all my classes. I stand together against racism and remain committed to the bedrock social-justice principles that our country was founded upon. I stand together in the fight against racism in our quest to create a more equitable world. George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. And countless others, some known through the media, while so many others are known only to their loved ones or their communities. Their names, their killings, the ongoing violence against the Black community, whose legacy stretches back centuries, leaves us saddened and outraged. Their killings provide us with stark reminders of the biased criminal justice system, the all too frequent realities of police brutality without accountability, and the dehumanization of Black lives that many people endure every day of their lives. The systemic racism woven throughout the fabric of our nation is causing tremendous damage. This has placed a great burden and responsibility on social studies teachers.
I am teaching this Black Lives Matter Lesson with all of my classes to raise awareness about the issue and to make sure they understand the full impact of racism in America. I also made this social justice lesson for elementary classes!
I am trying my best to be positive and optimistic. Things will get better and the keyword I am focusing on is flexibility! Flexibility with my teaching, flexibility with my students, flexibility with my own kids, and flexibility to say I am going to make the best of the situation
These are my favorite products for heading back to school!
- My favorite planner helps to keep me organized throughout the year!
- I love these teacher stamps when grading!
- This is my pencil bag.
- I use this to stay organized with my to-do lists!
- I use these for station work if I don’t want to laminate.
- This is my paper grade book.
- I love this shirt for the first day of school.
- I love this voting shirt when I teach about our government.
- My favorite coffee for back to school!
- I go through so many of these!
- I use this for so many student centers and to save important documents.