How Teachers Can Support Students in Their Return to In-Person Learning

How Teachers Can Support Students in Their Return to In-Person Learning

If you’re a teacher ready to get back to an in-person teaching and learning environment, you may be worried about how you will support your students — and their parents.

As the transition to returning to the classroom continues, we face many new challenges regarding our students’ well-being. Now, more than ever, we need to teach while creating an inclusive school culture that allows our students to grow personally and academically. 

With this in mind, we must consider what this transition will look like after more than a year of distance education. Today, we will cover some important ways that we can support our students as they transition back to in-person learning. 

6 Tips for Transitioning Students Back to In-Person Learning

While being challenged with their studies, our students must also contend with many other issues, social, emotional, and mental.

Tip #1. Prioritize Relationships

Since the only relationships we could build with our students last year were through a computer screen, it will take some time for us to get accustomed to being in-person full-time again. We now have a lot more opportunities to create strong, meaningful connections with our students. Some ways to capitalize on this are:

  • Setting up a meeting to talk with each student individually to get to know them and understand their struggles
  • Greeting our students at the classroom door to acclimate them and make them feel welcome and seen
  • Forming small groups so everyone can get to know each other
  • Continuing to utilize the best aspects of virtual learning, such as websites and applications that help students engage with challenging subjects such as mathematics and science

Tip #2. Create New Routines

Students tend to do well with routine, and with the chaos of last year, many of them suffered under the lack of it. During the first few weeks and months that we’re back in the classroom, we need to create a sense of stability and predictability by creating and practicing new routines. 

At the same time, we should also incorporate some of the best practices that we learned last year in order to keep learning agile while creating a sense of stability for our students. 

Tip #3. Maintain Open Lines of Communication with Parents

Returning to in-person learning isn’t only stressful for our students, but it can also make parents feel a bit anxious as well. In many cases, the cause of their anxiety is the sudden change in their involvement in their child’s education compared to last year. 

Now, many parents are feeling a bit left out. For this reason, consider sending home a weekly newsletter (either physically or digitally) to help them feel included and stay abreast of the curriculum. The newsletter is our opportunity to tell parents what’s happening and address any of their concerns as they happen. These open lines of communication serve to ease the transition back to full-time in-person learning.

Tip #4. Don’t Pressure Students to Catch up Immediately

We must remember that many of our students may be nervous about returning to in-person learning. The worst thing we could do is to make them feel overwhelmed, especially if they’re behind in some areas. It’s impossible to fit multiple extra lessons into the schedule just so our students can be where we feel they need to be. Instead, we should help our students see what they’ve learned and experienced last year, especially regarding their social and emotional well-being.

It’s up to us to break standards down to small, manageable units. The best way to do this is to segment our lessons so it doesn’t take as long to teach, practice, and master objectives. Doing so means we won’t need to use an entire lesson to review previous concepts. Instead, our students will enjoy a brief review of the areas that apply to ongoing educational concepts that they will continue to expand upon in this year’s curriculum.

Tip #5. Spend Time Rebuilding Lesson Plans

Covid has been challenging for all of us, but it has taught us quite a bit over the past year and a half, as well. Instead of simply trying to “make do,” we can create new lesson plans that utilize new online tools that allow our students to stay engaged and learn in the ways that appeal to their learning style whether they are in or outside the classroom. 

Creating new lesson plans isn’t something we have to do alone. Instead, it’s an opportunity to collaborate with other educators in our schools and networks. Together we can be innovative in finding new ways to engage our students to close the learning gap created by COVID-19.

Tip #6. Remove Pressure from Students as Much as Possible

One of the most important things we must remember is that we don’t need to be perfect. It will take some time to feel “normal” again, and things are bound to go awry. This transition is part of creating our new normal, so make sure to be forgiving of both your students and yourself as you move forward.

Support Your Students with De Alba Math Materials 

Not only will our students experience some fatigue and anxiety as they return to school, but they may be a bit behind. 

More than ever, educators and students will benefit from the flexibility and quality of De Alba Math materials. Our STAAR-aligned workbooks are available in both digital and printable consumables for maximum flexibility. Access prior and future grade workbooks to help students who may have learning gaps and those who are ready to surge ahead.

There is an easier way to plan your lessons and create equitable instructional opportunities — printed workbooks (consumables), seamless-to-integrate digital solutions, ideas, and services organized by TEKS, and categories to help Texas teachers in their targeted instruction planning. 

Get access to content-resources that can be used in hybrid blended models to close students’ academic learning gaps and teach at grade level. Get your De Alba Math Demo Free now!


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