It’s been over a year since many of us have taught in-person, face-to-face with our students. New habits have been formed and old ways forgotten. We created the following list to help as you transition from a virtual to a real teaching environment.
- Remember to Wear Pants. How sweet it was to chill out in your PJs and slippers all day long. Sorry sister but those days are over. Remember, students can see you head-to-toe in the real environment so remember to wear pants (and probably shoes too).
- Mute All is No Longer Possible. The screeching, off-beat, muted, ringing, everyone-in-a-different key beginning to any music class was not a problem on Zoom. Sweet serenity was just a click away with the Mute All button. Mull All, and even just plain old Mute, is not available in the real world. This is your warning.
- Names Go with Bodies. Forget someone’s name when teaching virtually? Not a problem cause it’s written right there next to their face. When you teach in-person, these are not just faces, they actually full-bodied students that will dress differently every day. You’ll need to memorize their names. Sorry to bring the bad news but there won’t be any labels next to their heads.
- Whiskey Not Allowed. Wasn’t it great at the end of a stressful day to close your laptop to reveal that beckoning bottle of Jack? Throwing back a few stress-relief shots 5 seconds after your last class is a luxury of the past. Now, after the bell rings and that last class leaves, remember you’ll still be in school, where alcohol is not allowed.
- New Set of Distractions. At first the work-from-home distractions were miserable. But we eventually got used to them and even came to enjoy the little breaks away from your screen. Your annoying spouse, barking dog, rambunctious children, and daily Amazon delivery guy defined our lives this past year…it’s going to be sad to let them go. Honestly, we don’t even remember the in-school distractions so we can’t even list them here…good luck.
- Project Your Voice. Oh how nice it was to speak in that calm, indoor voice and technology carried it into the homes of every single student. This is no longer an option. We recommend practicing some breathing exercises before your first day back so you’ll be ready to project to students in the back of the class.
- Commuting Takes Time. We all got too used to rolling out of bed 5 minutes before class started, quickly brushing your hair, and throwing on a decent looking shirt. DO NOT DO THIS ANYMORE! You’ll need to plan things like brushing your teeth, making time for breakfast, and driving to school. Please plan early and don’t just wing it on the first day.
- You Have Coworkers. That’s right…other people you’ll need to interact with. Brush up on your handshakes, looking others in the eye when speaking to them, and some professional manners. The good news is that now you’ll be able to hear every word they say very clearly without freezing for a few seconds.
- Your Background is Real. In the real world, people see what is really behind you. It isn’t possible to blur a messy classroom or pretend like you are sitting on a beautiful beach in Thailand. So please don’t act this way. Before your students arrive, turn around and look to see what is behind you. You might need to clean up that whiteboard and your desk. We don’t want any teachers getting embarrassed because they depend on the blurry background to cover up a mess.
- Students Can Always See Your Screen. Now that you’re in person, you’ll be using in-person tools like white boards, projectors, and Smartboards. When you present something, you don’t need to ask students, “Can you see my screen”. Trust us, yes they can see it.