Welcome back and a very happy new year to all our esteemed teachers! The last two years were indeed quite challenging for planning purposes when it came to the academic year. Learners have become accustomed to wearing masks every day and avoiding contact with their friends during break time and also spending a lot more time at home getting used to online learning.
Most parents and teachers will of course have many questions and predictions about what the 2022 academic year might look like, but none of us can see into the future and still being in the middle of a global pandemic with variants mutating faster than anyone can keep up, we don’t know what the future holds. If worst comes to worst we will have to face another hard lockdown to curb the spread of positive COVID-19 cases, then again, we have no idea what 2022 has in store, and all teachers can do is plan as best they can.
It is of the utmost importance to have emotional wellbeing top of mind when it comes to learners. The past months have been emotionally draining and challenging with families facing unemployment, uncertainty and abuse flaring up. Basic needs need to be looked after first before any difficulties with academics can be addressed. Ensure that you are in tune with your class and find out if any basic needs at home like safety and food are lacking. As a teacher, you need to be the parent away from home and heavily invest in personal issues in order for you to get the best out of a learner when it comes to academic achievements.
Classrooms still need to adhere to strict COVID protocols. Social distancing, sanitizing, and wearing of masks at all times is still an absolute must, so as part of setup planning in classrooms, teachers need to ensure that they do their part in enforcing these crucial preventative measures and leading by example. Lesson plans need to be thought out in such a way that should there be a sudden lockdown again, tasks and conveyance of information must be easily translatable if it has to be done over a Zoom meeting. Resources for the rest of the year should be ordered and purchased in a timeous manner as nobody has a crystal ball to see if supply chains might be affected due to unforeseen circumstances or lockdowns.
The best way for teachers and parents to approach the 2022 school year is to be prepared for anything to happen. Continuously familiarise yourselves with digital resources and which methods work effectively for you as an individual when it comes to online teaching. As much as we know that technology is the way of the future, the Coronavirus pandemic has forced our education system to adapt to this way of working far quicker than we could have ever anticipated. Take it day by day, make the most of it and have fun in the classroom with learners. Here is to a very successful 2022 and overcoming challenges together!
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