A year and a half of learning at home or partially at school has students has forgotten how to do school. They’ve forgotten the basic rules of walking in the hall, staying in class, and teachers giving them directives to follow. They believe they can call home whenever they want because the teacher told them the word no or asked them to do work.
So if you ask me, how has the pandemic changed the world? The teaching I knew for 20 years has dramatically changed on March 12, 2020.
I’m back in the resource room working with students one on one or in a small group. For a year and a half prior to the pandemic, my job assignment was the resource room. Last year, I did the resource room for writing and the students on my caseload plus inclusion in a classroom. This year I’m back to doing the resource room. What is different is the way I teach the students in my room. Maybe it’s the same but I see it as different. Maybe it’s because I know how precious the time is teaching those students face-to-face. I had lost that drive and passion last year.
So what can I say about how the pandemic changed my life? It changed my teaching. Perhaps it’s made me a better teacher because I know how hard it’s to give special education services over Zoom. I made connections with my students last year even through Zoom., but it’s different sitting with the students and interacting with them while teaching.
Now I’m struggling with teaching phonics or as we know them as a reading foundational skills while wearing a mask because the students don’t see my mouth as I’m saying the sounds or hear me as well as they could. However, we are working through that barrier as best as we can.
Now here’s to hoping we don’t have to go back to virtual teaching. I would be sad if that happened.