Reasons to be Excited to Return to School

Each day, we contemplate the concerns related to school reopening. We have to; they are critical. For a moment, though, we can explore reasons to be excited.

(Day 27 of my 30-Day Writing Challenge)

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

There are many science teachers out there who can’t wait to get back in the lab with students again. I love this picture because the teacher and students are together.

The Same Physical Location

Many of us will return to the building this school year. The most exciting aspect of returning to the building is, for me, hearing other people: their footsteps and voices in the hallway, the murmurs among groups as they work on an assignment, discussion during class, and any other sounds that indicate a community is present.

There’s also the value of seeing others. We have the chance to evaluate body language again, for example. It’s a tool I had to sadly relegate to my toolbox last year, since it was hard to gauge a student’s interest and confidence in a web conference.

Using Paper and Pencil Again

During summer school, my students told me they were thrilled to have an actual workbook, on paper, on which they could write with a real pencil. We reduced screen time, and everyone benefited from that. Eye strain is real, right?

I saved a lot of copy paper last year. I can’t wait to use it. I can’t wait to see students using multi-colored pens, highlighters, and sticky notes to annotate passages and poems. I can’t wait to see notebooks and binders in use again.

Distributing Books

We will work with actual books this year instead of sourcing material from Project Gutenberg, Folger Shakespeare Library, and others. How exciting! I believe my students will be excited too. Many of them prefer reading books in print instead of on the screen.

Group Work Makes a Comeback

Breakout rooms are fine, but there is nothing better than asking students to get into their groups. Everyone gets the chance to stand up and move to a new place, for one thing. They can all see each other. If they get stuck, I will be there when they call for me. I can manage by walking around, instead of popping into a breakout room. I can review what they are working on in real time.

If I never see a Jamboard again in my life, I might just be the happiest person on the planet.

More Opportunities for One-on-One Discussion

I envision impromptu one-on-one discussions and scheduled conferences being more robust than last year. Again, the physical proximity and less technological interference will help bridge the communication divide.

These are a few reasons to be excited about returning to school. What are your reasons? I would love to read them.

Thank you for reading this, my twenty-seventh post of my 30-Day Writing Challenge.

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