Do you have that one resource that’s your go-to? Back when I was a school leader, one of mine was Dr. Michael Thompson, a psychologist whose books on boys, middle school students, and managing parent relationships got me through many a school-based drama. So, you can imagine my excitement when he agreed to be a guest on Snack-Size PD, our YouTube PD series for over-Zoomed educators. What did we discuss? The return to face-to-face learning, and the lingering effects of the pandemic.

Ask students to share their pandemic story

Dr. Thompson’s take was that we should assume that kids, for the most part, are thrilled to be back learning in school, because it’s a return to normalcy, to friends, to independence from parents, to a familiar routine. “Ask them to tell their pandemic stories, and tell yours,” and then get back to it, he advised.

If your students are returning to in-school learning, we’ve pulled together some additional resources for you. Following up on Dr. Thompson’s suggestion to ask students to share their stories, we’ve got some research on how asking students to do just that actually improves student achievement. We’ve also got a piece detailing a more comprehensive approach to returning to in-school learning, with many constructive suggestions.

Try a focusing activity before you dive into learning

The next section of the template focuses a bit more on wellness. We’ve shared a moving blog post where students from around the country share their feelings about returning to school, and then some good mindfulness/focusing activities to help launch learning. Finally, we share a blog post about how one teacher celebrates her students. You can access the template here.

It’s been a time...! Congratulations on getting your learners back. Wishing you good health and good teaching.

Returning to school template