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How to Prepare for the Future of Teaching

by  Jones & Bartlett Learning     Jun 1, 2022
PandemichasChangedEducationForever_blog_1200w630h

As we emerge from the rubble of what will likely be the wildest school year of our careers, it is hard to imagine just how much the COVID-19 pandemic changed education in the United States. Still, as educators, we do not have much time to wax poetic about education “in the old days” before the pandemic – we have to prepare for the future of teaching. Here are a few ways the pandemic has changed education and some tips on preparing for tomorrow.

 

How to Prepare for Your Future of Teaching

 

Learn more about virtual learning

Virtual learning was around long before COVID-19, but very few educators and students were familiar with the software. Then the pandemic hit, and almost all teachers and learners had to undergo a crash course in technology.

The sudden immersion in online learning was challenging for nearly everyone, including parents and students: 20 percent of college students whose classes moved online said it was difficult to find a quiet place for online instruction. Teachers are frustrated, too – about 80 percent of teachers responding to a survey by Rand reported feelings of burnout.

To address these issues and avoid the blowback of keeping schools closed yet another year, many schools will fully reopen or offer a hybrid version. Most colleges are preparing for in-person classes in the fall of 2021, with a growing number of institutions requiring that students already be vaccinated before showing up on campus.

Even so, virtual learning will likely play a greater role in education after the pandemic has eased. Moderately sick students or infectious diseases can participate in a virtual classroom from home or the hospital. Rising COVID case numbers close campuses again in the worst-case scenario, sending students and educators back to their computers. To prepare for hybrid learning, the re-closure of schools, and the inevitable increase in distance learning, teachers may benefit from further technology education.

 

Look for institutions that offer a better teaching environment

The pandemic also changed the teaching environment from the buildings themselves to the number of students in classes. For example, many districts and campuses are updating their ventilation systems, and others will continue offering better student-to-instructor ratios. These changes improve the work environment for teachers but may be too expensive for schools that are already struggling in the aftermath of COVID-19.

 

Get ready to play catch-up

By almost all accounts, students fell behind during the pandemic, so many will start their first year in college already behind. One study demonstrated a significant learning lag in math and English language arts. As of fall 2020, these students were between 5 and 25 percent behind where they would be in a typical year – and that was before the 2020/2021 school year really even began.

Fortunately, the American Rescue Plan includes $122 billion for public K-12 schools. The law requires districts to spend at least 20 percent of the funds they receive on evidence-based interventions that address learning loss. Districts across the nation are now gearing up their programming for summer school, the next school year, and beyond; the funding will help schools and teachers create accelerated learning programs to bring students up to speed as quickly as possible without causing undue stress, anxiety, or other mental health issues for students, teachers, or parents.

 

Develop a relationship-centered learning experience with students

Every student has experienced a different journey through COVID-19, and their unique experiences could shape how they learn for years. Some students flourished during the pandemic because they had the full support of parents who could afford the technology for online learning, for example. In contrast, other students struggled on their own to find an internet connection or to find extra help with coursework. Unfortunately, many students suffered trauma from losing a family member or other loss associated with COVID and did not have trusted teachers or counselors available for emotional support.

Developing a personal relationship can help teachers understand the social, emotional, and economic challenges affecting each student’s learning ability and then help the student overcome these obstacles to learning. These relationships will help students and educators remain connected and socialized, even as higher education moves towards distance learning.

While school may be back in session for 2021/2022, education may never be the same after COVID-19 – with a little ingenuity, planning, and luck, it may even be better.

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How to Prepare for the Future of Teaching

by  Jones & Bartlett Learning     Jun 1, 2022
PandemichasChangedEducationForever_blog_1200w630h

As we emerge from the rubble of what will likely be the wildest school year of our careers, it is hard to imagine just how much the COVID-19 pandemic changed education in the United States. Still, as educators, we do not have much time to wax poetic about education “in the old days” before the pandemic – we have to prepare for the future of teaching. Here are a few ways the pandemic has changed education and some tips on preparing for tomorrow.

 

How to Prepare for Your Future of Teaching

 

Learn more about virtual learning

Virtual learning was around long before COVID-19, but very few educators and students were familiar with the software. Then the pandemic hit, and almost all teachers and learners had to undergo a crash course in technology.

The sudden immersion in online learning was challenging for nearly everyone, including parents and students: 20 percent of college students whose classes moved online said it was difficult to find a quiet place for online instruction. Teachers are frustrated, too – about 80 percent of teachers responding to a survey by Rand reported feelings of burnout.

To address these issues and avoid the blowback of keeping schools closed yet another year, many schools will fully reopen or offer a hybrid version. Most colleges are preparing for in-person classes in the fall of 2021, with a growing number of institutions requiring that students already be vaccinated before showing up on campus.

Even so, virtual learning will likely play a greater role in education after the pandemic has eased. Moderately sick students or infectious diseases can participate in a virtual classroom from home or the hospital. Rising COVID case numbers close campuses again in the worst-case scenario, sending students and educators back to their computers. To prepare for hybrid learning, the re-closure of schools, and the inevitable increase in distance learning, teachers may benefit from further technology education.

 

Look for institutions that offer a better teaching environment

The pandemic also changed the teaching environment from the buildings themselves to the number of students in classes. For example, many districts and campuses are updating their ventilation systems, and others will continue offering better student-to-instructor ratios. These changes improve the work environment for teachers but may be too expensive for schools that are already struggling in the aftermath of COVID-19.

 

Get ready to play catch-up

By almost all accounts, students fell behind during the pandemic, so many will start their first year in college already behind. One study demonstrated a significant learning lag in math and English language arts. As of fall 2020, these students were between 5 and 25 percent behind where they would be in a typical year – and that was before the 2020/2021 school year really even began.

Fortunately, the American Rescue Plan includes $122 billion for public K-12 schools. The law requires districts to spend at least 20 percent of the funds they receive on evidence-based interventions that address learning loss. Districts across the nation are now gearing up their programming for summer school, the next school year, and beyond; the funding will help schools and teachers create accelerated learning programs to bring students up to speed as quickly as possible without causing undue stress, anxiety, or other mental health issues for students, teachers, or parents.

 

Develop a relationship-centered learning experience with students

Every student has experienced a different journey through COVID-19, and their unique experiences could shape how they learn for years. Some students flourished during the pandemic because they had the full support of parents who could afford the technology for online learning, for example. In contrast, other students struggled on their own to find an internet connection or to find extra help with coursework. Unfortunately, many students suffered trauma from losing a family member or other loss associated with COVID and did not have trusted teachers or counselors available for emotional support.

Developing a personal relationship can help teachers understand the social, emotional, and economic challenges affecting each student’s learning ability and then help the student overcome these obstacles to learning. These relationships will help students and educators remain connected and socialized, even as higher education moves towards distance learning.

While school may be back in session for 2021/2022, education may never be the same after COVID-19 – with a little ingenuity, planning, and luck, it may even be better.

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