At first, I had a hard time getting back to the daily routine of teaching. With the deadly virus spreading rapidly within my school and the fear of losing someone from my class, I was scared and worried about what to do.
How to help children keep learning while simultaneously keeping them safe from COVID 19?
With a large number of schools getting back to in-person learning, we, as teachers, face greater challenges in protecting our students from the deadly virus.
As a teacher, in turn, I should be certain with my answers as to how can I keep my students safe from the COVID 19 pandemic.
Favorably, as teachers, we need to enhance our commitment to the highest level to keep the children safe.
Consequently, hygienic lessons on frequent hand washing and social distancing are to be included in our lesson plans as a clear manifestation that we are keeping our students safe from COVID-19.
With that in mind, I have gathered practical and effective ways to keep our students safe from COVID-19.
Now that most schools all over the world are returning to in-person learning, it’s quite an opportune piece.
How Can I Keep My Students Safe from COVID 19?
Grab the 10 practical ways to protect students from the viral spread
When schools opt for hybrid education to ensure quality and accessible student learning, we have to arm ourselves with the most appropriate strategies to keep students safe from COVID 19.
Having a different school year due to the pandemic, students are being accommodated through remote and in-person learning. This means a very extreme shift from the regular school year.
For this reason, safety protocols have been established to protect everyone against the COVID 19 virus.
Hopefully, the following practical schemes can keep school children safe.
1. Get well-informed about COVID 19
Staying informed in detail about Coronavirus, especially its signs and symptoms, is a great act. It’s the best way to become prepared for the unseen enemy.
“The first thing anyone can do, about any issue, is get informed.” – Adora Svitak
Getting facts and information about Coronavirus disease from reliable sources is the best way not to be misled by plain rumors that spread on social media.
Write important details in your journal or planner so you will always remember.
By knowing about the disease at length, you can be confident in how to keep yourself and your students safe.
By keeping yourself informed about COVID-19, you are doing your part in reducing the viral spread. It’s important to know how it can be avoided and detected.
You should know how proper handwashing is done and how masks are worn. In this sense, you can also give and teach your students the right instructions.
Know the Symptoms
To avoid the deadly virus, the best way is not to get infected while a victim’s symptoms are mild. With this in mind, it means that teachers should know what symptoms to expect when infected with the COVID 19 virus.
Given that we try to work even harder, teaching at schools, where parents and guardians would like us to protect their kids from the virus containment, it is crucial to educate ourselves on the symptoms of COVID 19.
Looking for a teacher planner? Check out our list of the best planners for teachers to help you get well organized.
2. Incorporate into your lesson plans hygienic strategies
How do you prepare your lesson plans for when COVID 19 still continues to march around the globe and schools decide to return to in-person learning?
Have you thought of including hygienic strategies or the necessary health protocols?
Very well, developing a culture of hygiene, most particularly, should be made a habit. You can have a big influence on its successful implementation in schools.
As of today, including in our pandemic lesson plans, important hygienic strategies are worth considering.
Also, teaching health habits is a big help. Doing so can help us renew our commitment in these most uncertain times.
Teaching students about proper hygiene and personal care is very necessary, especially during these days when the pandemic is on the rise.
What to incorporate into your lesson plans?
Our students need to be reminded of some personal hygiene so they develop the skills to take care of themselves and become more independent.
To set the way, you can demonstrate how proper handwashing should be done and more.
You should talk about how dangerous the virus is and how it can be avoided. Hence, you should consider strategy #1 on the list.
Therefore, you should be ready to explain terms and concepts. Then, you should sincerely demonstrate hygienic strategies and personal health skills.
In doing so, you can tap the help of technology in discussing concepts and strategies. Show them reliable videos and share reliable links.
3. Inform students of the risks of the virus
Again, this can’t be successfully done without considering the first strategy on the list.
Sharing health information should be done with reliable source links, news, and safe social media outlets.
This matter calls for the proper integration of fresh information about COVID 19 into your lessons.
Think critically to check on its relevance to your curriculum content and hit the core.
Get up-to-date and helpful information about the world’s enemy. It’s the best action you can take against this universal battle.
Safe information can help you stay resilient and more confident. Be always updated on the latest developments of COVID-19 so you can also spread safe and reliable news.
To make it super engaging, you can use video and PowerPoint presentations. The more engaging the presentation is, the more students get interested in listening. They absorb helpful information this way.
4. Limit class sizes
When schools decide to return to in-person learning, limiting class sizes is the most practical option to prevent the spread of the virus.
Maintaining physical distancing is effectively feasible when the number of students is limited in a classroom.
Demonstrate how your students are apart from one another. Make them understand that they are still prohibited from going near each other even though they are very excited to share their experiences during the lockdown.
Bringing the students back to the physical classroom really makes them learn at their best. But, you have to be ready with rules and precautions to keep them safe from the COVID 19 virus.
Having students back on campus poses a greater challenge to school administration than keeping everyone safe.
Of course, it’s expected that schools will be accomplishing health guidelines and specific safety measures to keep everyone on campus secure and safe.
5. Offer limited face-to-face instruction
Considering critically in-person learning, to protect our students from COVID-19, offering limited face-to-face instruction is one cautious step.
Gradual physical learning is part of the careful execution of limited in-person learning.
Dr. Alison Eckard, an infectious disease pediatrician, after conducting his research, said that “It really does look like with a multilayered approach that schools can open safely for students and teachers.”
This calls for the effective implementation of blended learning forms that purvey face-to-face learning and online learning models.
In this context, learning delivery will be based on the subject matter and needs of learners.
Thereby, these learning designs help reduce physical encounters but don’t compromise the quality of learning interactions of learners.
The perfect combination of both models reduces the risks of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
6. Have enough safety supplies
When your school begins in-person learning this school year, make certain that you have enough supplies of masks, thermal scanners, hand sanitizers, alcohol, and many others.
In other words, each classroom should have the recommended toolkits needed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Or, it’s about plainly answering, what might schools need to keep children safe from COVID 19 now that they are to be back on campus?
Then, students have to be always reminded that they are not to share their supplies with anyone.
Most probably, these kids are to eat just at their desks or there should be a sensible schedule for using the school canteen.
Moreover, classrooms should be disinfected regularly. Thus, school cleaning and disinfection should be a big part of the whole plan.
Consequently, careful planning should be done before the schools reopen.
7. Always coordinate with parents
Coordinate with parents if their kids already have the needed vaccines that highly reduce the risks of COVID-19.
Moreover, a parent-teacher conference should be done first to ensure parents know the whole plan and will understand the learning schemes. Disseminate information effectively and systematically.
Most importantly, both parents and teachers should be trained in symptom recognition to reduce the spread of the disease.
Thus, proper collaboration and communication should be greatly enhanced. It can be done through open lines of communication, GC on messenger, SMS text, limited face-to-face conferences, and using reliable online platforms.
This could be a joint action of the teachers and parents to consider the specific health conditions of children and to protect their wellbeing.
A renewed collaboration between teachers and parents is needed for the overall success of in-person learning.
8. Know the school’s plan
What should be done if there are COVID 19 cases in your school during the implementation of in-person learning?
Aside from the cleaning and disinfection schedule, what else should be included in the school plan?
As an educator, you play a very important role in protecting your students from COVID-19 other than the local health personnel. Hence, you should be briefed on exactly what should be done when plan A doesn’t work.
Make it a habit to keep a teacher planner with you so you stay organized and updated.
Keep all important details and tips intact so you will not get amiss in the execution of the plan. Write down your class schedule and that of your students
Don’t let yourself and your students be caught by surprise. Knowing and understanding the school’s plans during the pandemic is a great act of preparedness.
Therefore, prior to the opening of classes, school administrators, teachers, and parents should coordinate well in order to take greater and more careful steps in the implementation of the developed comprehensive school plan.
9. Help parents establish routines
Virus variants of COVID-19 are currently circulating. Even if schools make full use of the available resources, they must nevertheless prepare for possible exposures.
One of the 5 suggestions presented by Robert Jenkins, UNICEF’s Global Chief of Education is for families to establish routines together.
With your help and initiative, you can assist parents to keep track of the education of their children while keeping them safe at the same time.
Parents should be oriented with the daily routines in school for mealtime, break time, and collaborative learning tasks so they can reiterate them at home.
Despite the fact that having a routine and consistency for students is crucial, you may realize that they require a certain amount of flexibility during these difficult times.
Since the parents should work in tandem with teachers, they should also do their part.
Remember that planning and executing routines should be collaborative now that students are back to in-person learning.
Parents must be aware of the activities of the health and learning activities in school.
Furthermore, they must make every effort to remain attentive as possible to updates and news about the health crisis.
10. Bolster daily precautions
Part of the daily routines in the classrooms today is reinforcing health measures to keep everyone safe.
Furthermore, you’ve probably spent a few months reiterating to your children the need of taking simple precautions to avoid being sick.
Just make sure that they will always remember so you can keep them safe from COVID-19. Make sure that everyone adheres to international health goals.
The more students understand the health protocols, the more they avoid the risks of the virus.
<<<Anyhow, you may also share the practicable tips below.
Teachers, just like the parents, should be more cautious that children are now back on campus.
Educating oneself about COVID 19 measures and getting updated on school health plans should be a prerequisite.
Doing all that we can support quality student learning and protect one another from COVID 19 makes a difference. This makes us more resilient and creates a safer learning environment for the students.
As a teacher, I am doing my part to mitigate the spread of the virus by observing the above-mentioned practical steps to keep my students learning while ensuring their safety.
Is there anything you can add to keep our students safe from COVID 19? Share your meaningful recommendations below. Stay safe!