As students line up for a pump of hand sanitiser, there is a palpable excitement. But there is also apprehension, and not just from the students. Both teachers and students have been away from face to face teaching and learning for so long. As many parents know, the energy needed to keep children engaged in learning for six hours is no mean feat. So there will be an adjustment phase needed. The teachers are more than aware of this. They have missed their students, they have missed teaching the way they were trained to teach! And they know that students have missed them too. But there was a luxury in rolling out of bed and straight to a desk.
On the first day back at school, students are bubbling with enthusiasm. They can’t wait to see their friends and teachers. There will be a moment, an hour or a day, when the reality sets in and they realise that school goes until 3:30pm for five days a week. No longer can they take their 25 minute recess break that ends up going for an hour and a half because the adults need some space to think and work. It will be a new challenge, to transition back to school. The teachers know this. They have reached back into the depths of all their training and pulled out every engagement trick in the book. They have a sleuth of ‘Brain breaks’ up their sleeves and a heart full of compassion and understanding. They are ready.
Published in The New Woodend Star- October 2020 edition