Top 9 Priorities as Schools Reopen!
The worst nightmare of our lives is slowly and gradually coming towards its end, number of cases coming down every day in India, vaccine launched and people being administered the vaccine shots, general public adapted to overall hygiene protocols, most of the places and services opened up, it is now time for the schools to reopen. A good number of SOPs circulated by the Government, CBSE Board and various other state boards, the schools are once again becoming LIVE – happening places. Though we are all happy about it, I am a little apprehensive of the way we are going to resume our working. Have we set our priorities about ‘What’ and ‘How’? Here are the top nine priorities…
#1. Expect, anticipate and adapt to change
One fact that we all must identify and accept is that post pandemic school culture and teaching – learning experiences are not going to be the same as pre pandemic. And we must never focus to achieve that. Much water has flown under the bridge. New normal and new adaptations will continue to evolve. We as schools must focus on continual adaptations over time rather than struggling to achieve the previous standards. A vision in to the futuristic society and the skills needed then must be the focus in schools of today.
#2. Focus on fostering Social connections and Emotional health of Students
As schools we must remember that this generation of learners has survived a pandemic and they have come out stronger and resilient than before. In the race to cover and makeup for the lost academics, we must not overlook the success stories. You know, the survey reports world over suggest that 98% of the learners surveyed have missed their teachers and friends more than their academics. So as schools, initial few days we must invest into fostering and nurturing those connections again. Teachers must promote, share and listen to the stories of courage, hardships, pay cuts, work from home tensions, coping up – first hand from their students. They must build on their leanings of pandemic, reinforce them and build on the value of empathy, one of the core life skills to be a better human being.
#3. Establish Routine and Discipline with Patience
Schools provide a structure and discipline to our children. Staying at home for so long with practically no or little schedule for the day has robbed our children of their habits and attitudes towards work. They may slog and delay work initially. We at schools have to understand the fact that it may take a fortnight or so to revive the right patterns and routines. So, plan to go easy with patience.
#4. Identify the Bigger Role the Schools play
Pandemic has proved that schools play a pivotal role beyond the teaching-learning experiences. They foster human connections and help learners develop social skills. The children have not missed the school buildings; they have missed the human interactions and feeling of belongingness with each other.