Skip to main content

Teaching in a Post-Pandemic Classroom

Although school resumed this fall and every day we try to get our lives back to "normal," there are still resounding impacts from pandemic learning. 

One of our ESL teachers unexpectedly did not return for this school year, and I stepped into the role as ESL Social Studies teacher for the first few weeks of school. While being in person is overall better than being remote, teaching and learning in a post-pandemic classroom is exhausting. We no longer need to keep three to six feet between us physically at all moments, but masks are still mandatory. And trying to teach a language course when my mouth is hidden from view and surrounded by 15 students whose mouths are also hidden from view presents immense challenges. It is so difficult to project my teacher voice and call attention to the class when students are sneaking side conversations behind their masks. Additionally, trying to teach enunciation and teach pronunciation is all but futile. I find myself repeating things over and over, and asking my students to repeat themselves, just so we can try to communicate. It is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting for all of us.  

The effects of 18 months of remote and hybrid learning is also evident. As I prepared my first unit and was making copies before the first day of school, I walked back to my classroom with hundreds of photocopied papers in my arms. I realized I had not held such a large stack of copies in two years! I specifically chose to do our first unit on paper, because I knew the students had spent so much time connected to devices over the past two school years, I thought a return to tangible learning would be a great way to start. But when I looked at how many trees I had probably killed with all those copies, I though about how I can blend my pre-pandemic paper-based lessons with my post-pandemic tech-savvy students for future units this year. 

My heart goes out to my 8th graders, for this is their first and only full year of middle school. Their 6th grade year of school was disrupted when schools closed in March 2020 indefinitely, their 7th grade year began completely online and then transitioned to hybrid in February 2021, and now they will finally spend 180 days within the school building, for the first time in three years. I asked them to do a writing assignment this week and when we were finished they complained their hands were so tired. I realized they probably hadn't hand-written an entire page of text in the past two years, maybe in their whole lives! Those are muscles we all must begin to build once again. 

All of us have muscles in need of re-training this year. The hurdles facing us are grand, but anyone who survived pandemic learning can survive this. For these reasons, my classroom motto is "growing is hard and that's okay." This is a year of growing, but we will all be stronger on the other side. 


  1. As the COVID pandemic surged globally, many of us found ourselves unprepared for the ways in which this deadly virus would affect our daily lives. School aged children and their teachers, who were forced to make the quick transition from in-person to virtual or hybrid learning almost overnight, have faced countless difficulties along the way. As students and teachers prepare to go back to the classroom full-time this fall, there are many important lessons learned during the pandemic that teachers should consider implementing into their curriculum. If you are looking for more details on such topic then you may contact with Mr. Al Rogers. He already supported over 240,000 students in the County of Sacramento, where he developed new education programs.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Is 5 Little Monkeys Racist?

I’ve seen a lot of Tik Toks debunking children’s nursery rhymes lately. I have two toddlers, so now whenever I hear one of those rhymes, I think about their unsavory origins. But my son loves, loves Five Little Monkeys. He’s just learning to talk, and can almost say it by himself. I’ve thought about telling him to stop singing it since I learned in the original lyrics it’s not monkeys jumping on the bed, but he just gets so much joy from singing it as he jumps up and falls down, I thought... no harm, no foul, right? As long as he thinks the song is about monkeys, it’s ok.  Until my niece came over one day, and the three toddlers were playing on an old mattress we have on the living room floor for them to jump around on. My son asked me to sing 5 Little Monkeys. At first it was cute, because they literally were jumping on the bed, but then I took a good look at the three of them.  My kids are half-Guatemalan but very fair, like I am. Whereas my niece is half-black, and her skin happens

Why You Should Travel with Little Kids

I took my first cross-country road trip when I was six-weeks-old. My parents loaded me up in an old Ford Wagoneer and drove me home from my dad's hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, to my hometown of Ojai, CA. After that, we traveled back and forth between the East Coast and the West Coast every summer of my life. A few times we flew, but most years we loaded up the car with the suitcases, the dogs, and the children and drove 3,000 miles across the country. This early exposure to travel instilled within me a joy of seeing the world, and since that first trip I have visited 34 states and 14 countries. And I hope to share that same joy with my own little ones. Traveling with children can be hard--it disrupts their nap schedules, may involve crossing timelines, and definitely pushes everyone beyond their comfort zones. But seeing different countries and different parts of our country as children gives them a greater appreciation for cultural and regional differences, and it widens their exper

Reflections on Immigrant Life and the American Dream by a New Citizen

  Buenos días estudiantes de sexto grado. Mi nombre es Audelina Barrios, and I am a former student of Fuller Middle School. Soy de Guatemala, y viví mis primeros trece años de mi vida en mi tierra natal, pero desafortunadamente perdí a mis padres cuando tenía 12 años. Mi hermano y yo fuimos huérfanos por un año hasta que tomamos la decisión de empezar nuestro viaje hacia los United States to meet our oldest siblings.  In August of 2014 we finally arrived in the land of our dreams, the United States. During our first 4 months in the US, we lived in New Jersey with my oldest sister, Rosa, and went to a school where ESL didn't even exist. I was paired up with the only Latino in the school y sin saber una palabra en inglés. I felt like an outsider because I had no other friends and like I wasn't even part of the school system.  In January 2015 my older brother Francisco and his wife, Mae, adopted us and we moved to Framingham. My first school in Framingham was Fuller Middle School