How are teachers adapting to the new normal?

It has been a difficult time for everyone over the last year not least the thousands of teachers in the UK who have been called upon to adapt their teaching methods and resources time and time again. From keeping in touch with children during lockdown to at the present time providing distance learning alongside classroom teaching it has proved a challenge for even the most talented and experienced teachers.

Once schools reopened for all pupils in September teachers found themselves taking on the role of cleaner, lunchtime supervisor and computer expert along with their normal heavy workload. Many teachers have as little as half an hour away from their bubble of children during the day and are prevented from socialising in school with colleagues. But, as usual, teachers have risen to the challenge and are working hard to keep children in their care safe and happy.

The teachers of younger children are having to adapt their teaching methods from a child centred curriculum to one that is more table-based which has been tough as research has shown that young children learn best through play but teachers have become very creative in the way they are delivering the curriculum and continue to adapt as necessary.

Ensuring that school is fun

With the majority of children going back to school this week or next, many teachers are trying to ensure that the children feel happy to be back and can settle back in to a good routine. Many children have been off school for almost 6 months and so it may take a bit of time before things can settle down again. School is not like it used to be prior to the Corona Virus, so although much of the routine has been reintroduced, still many activities and they way the day is set out has changed.

It is a known fact that children learn better when a subject is taught in a fun and exciting way. Often adults remember one or two specific lessons from their time at school that were particularly exciting.

As a teacher you will have a hard job this year. There is a fair bit of work to catch up on. It is important to not get too overly worried about the amount of work to get through and instead focus on ensuring that the children are happy and able to adapt back to school life.

If you are struggling for ideas on how to make lessons fun but also Covid safe, then the internet can be a great source, full of educational websites and forums where other professionals share their ideas and previous success stories.

Eagerly awaiting exam results

Many students are anxiously awaiting their GCSE or A Level results this month. This year has been like no other and students all over the country have missed out on taking their exams due to lock down. This means that teachers and lecturers have had to grade pupils based on the work they have done so far. For many students who struggle in exam situations this news has been very welcomed, but for others who maybe didn’t have the best start to the year, they may find themselves missing out.

This last six months may have been very difficult for some students, especially if they find working from home hard or don’t have a great home life. They may of struggled to get all the coursework done that they needed to and may of found it hard to manage their time effectively. There will be a lot of catching up required when students do return but for those who were in their final year, its now straight into the real world of job hunting.

The grades the students obtain may be needed to help them progress into further education or possibly into an apprenticeship or fulltime job. Universities have set grades that they expect students to achieve to be allowed on to a course and if these are not met this month, then the students will have to go through what is known as clearing.

Adult learning options

Going back into education can see like a backstep for some, but often you must go back to be able to go forward. Investing the time to go back in to education can open up a whole new world to you and allow you to go in to careers that were simply not available to you before.  When it comes to working or further education after school, you often have a number of options open to you. The government now states that any child reaching the age of 16 must stay in full-time education, for example at a college, start an apprenticeship or traineeship or spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training. This is until they reach the age of 18.

If this law was not in play when you left school, you may have chosen to not to stay on at school and complete GCSE’s or do A-levels. This may mean that you do not have the qualifications to go straight into a degree.  Often if you can do a simple one year access course at college which will get you back in to learning and give you an idea of what adult learning is like. you may decide that a college setting is more for you so you chose to enrol in one of those.

Employing school leavers

With many students looking like they may finish their school year early this year, there is already a number of people looking for work. The main issue that school leavers are going to face is that there is likely to be a lot more competition for jobs as lots of people have found themselves out for work due to the lockdown situation.
As an employer, when you look to recruit a new member of staff you will need to think carefully about what skills and experience they need to have if any. If the job requires little skill and experience then you may decide to employ a school leaver.
Some employers are reluctant to employ school leavers, thinking that they may be unreliable and require too much time and resources to train them up as they are not used to the work environment, but this is often far from the case. Many young people who leave school to work want to find themselves a career and are often willing to go above and beyond to prove themselves. You can also then train them up in the way that you want them to work rather than have to try and retain someone that is sued to working a different way for another company.