Students in the UAE have returned to campuses while battling a pandemic. With the back to school season still underway for many schools and nurseries沙巴体育怎么玩, we asked teachers in the UAE what their experiences were like returning to school premises and teaching from a distance.
Hello! I’m Mrs. Walters and I am an IBDP and US curriculum Science teacher.
沙巴体育怎么玩returning to campus this september during the pandemic was a gift i was happy to receive! during term 3 of last year, my students and i were always connected virtually via class time, regular “check-ins” and for revision and project-based work. however well we managed the catalogue of digital tools and formats during home-learning, i missed the intangible energy of live lessons and experiments, the animated discussions and spontaneous extension work in the classroom.
沙巴体育怎么玩as a scientist teaching best practices, health and safety are paramount but in these unusual times, it is more critical than ever that we emphasize good hygiene, good practice, and mental health. i feel that all of the teachers here at dunecrest make student safety a priority and our commitment to their care and well-being is evident in all we do; from the way we have organized our classrooms, to our approach to digital collaborations to regular reminders to wear masks properly, maintain social distance, wash hands and sanitize. i have always felt like i am my students “school mom” and during this pandemic, i really feel as if i am playing the role!
沙巴体育怎么玩although these times require us to stay apart in a physical sense, being in the classroom has enabled me to reconnect on a personal level with students. i can chat with them at the end of class or stop them in the hall to check on their well-being, at 2 meters distance of course! their smiling faces give me sustenance and you will regularly see me waving at them or shouting a “hello” down the buzzing dunecrest corridors.
i admittedly was nervous returning to campus as i was unsure what to expect. i like kids to work together in class but now, with the distancing rules, i had to rely more on digital sharing. tools like padlet, airplay from devices, have allowed this to occur in unfamiliar ways for some of us… i have also had the chance to innovate and bring in some interesting methods of collaboration. as an example, i changed the desks in my room to dry erase tabletops to encourage students to work out problems and solutions on their desks so it is easier for me and other students to see how they are working through different solutions. we are using technology but i found this “old school” way is a nice break in the extremely digital-heavy environment we are now in because of covid.
i believe that this school year is going to bring us more surprises but we will face them with a positive attitude and a united spirit, after all, we are the dunecrest eagles and we can overcome anything together.
Hello! My name is Reema Hanna. I teach KG2.
it has been great to return back to campus and make connections with students face-to-face. these little guys really need the one-to-one interaction with the teacher and their peers to learn and grow!
i’ve been very impressed with dunecrest’s preparation and protocols for our return to campus. i feel like we are doing everything we can to make sure that everyone who enters the building is safe. students can play together while social distancing and they know the routine of sanitizing and washing their hands between toys and classes. they know that each toy needs to be put in the disinfection bin before another student can use it and you will hear them reminding each other, which is amazing to see! we even have an extra person in the class who is there to sanitize and disinfect tables and chairs as well as all toys in the disinfection bin, which has been such a great help!
沙巴体育怎么玩the best part of being able to come back to school is having that face-to-face interaction with students (while being socially distant, of course). we learn about each other every day. i am able to have small groups with children, which creates a bond between the student and the teacher.
obviously, changes need to be made to certain ways of teaching, but many have had unintended benefits. as a kindergarten teacher, i am used to having a community type of classroom where everything is shared, after all, sharing is caring! although this is a great way to teach sharing and build the community in the classroom, i must say that having each student bring their own individual bag of supplies has really helped to give students ownership and responsibility for their things all while keeping them safe in the classroom!
沙巴体育怎么玩i hope that we continue to stay in school, as i truly believe that this is what is best for our students. they love to come to school and they really need that hands-on learning approach!
My teaching experience during the pandemic has been challenging; complying with all health and safety procedures is a huge responsibility for us as teachers. At the same time, this has created a great opportunity for me to expand my knowledge and explore new teaching methods.
沙巴体育怎么玩my job is to provide equal opportunities for our students to succeed, without compromising the high level of teaching and learning within the classroom. i think that the biggest challenge with the new procedure is teaching 3-year-old students to understand the concept of social distancing in the classroom.
today i am very surprised by how they handle it without affecting their social-emotional skills. they take shifts of two in each learning center and rotate with ease and the routine of strict washing hands and using sanitizer has quickly become part of the daily routine.
i must also emphasize that my school principal and all of my co-workers have been very supportive in creating and following the school pandemic procedures, including student drop off and pick up tasks.
I believe this difficult time in our lives should serve as a great lesson to prepare us and make us stronger for the future.
沙巴体育怎么玩Regardless of the current pandemic, I for one was very excited to be returning to school and seeing children again.
yes, the first couple of days were slightly daunting, getting used to the new way of teaching and learning. however, i had faith that my school was doing everything in its power to protect myself, the students, staff and all visitors that entered the building.
i am happy and excited to be back with the children and even though this year is not a normal year, it will not stop me doing what i love.
沙巴体育怎么玩I am Rachel McKeown and I am a Year 4 teacher at Nord Anglia International School, Dubai.
what a year we have all had! working and schooling from home during a pandemic certainly had its ups and downs, so the return to face-to-face learning is a breath of fresh air for all.
as teachers, it is our job to ensure that we are providing children with a wealth of opportunities and experiences that will continue to instill a love and enthusiasm for learning. through ipad and laptop screens, this was not always easy, but the children and teachers continued to work hard and gave it their absolute best.
沙巴体育怎么玩coming back into school was a much-needed release from the four walls at home. it has been so lovely seeing children and staff in school again and, although there are masks in the way, you can tell that everyone is smiling and delighted to be back in school surroundings.
沙巴体育怎么玩Of course, the return back to school has had its challenges. Wearing masks, relentless sanitising and constantly having to remember to keep your distance to name a few. Having said this, it is now becoming second-nature to all at Nord Anglia, which shows just how resilient the children are and showcases the extraordinary efforts made by all in the NAS community.
it is the start of july and instead of thinking about the possibilities for the weeks ahead and potential holiday destinations and activities i find myself as whole school deputy headteacher, safeguarding and wellbeing lead in the unique position of being tasked to lead our school team in developing a reopening plan for september. this involves coordinating, writing and gaining the permit to provide on-campus learning and distance learning offering a blended learning model from eyfs through to ibdp. being part of an international group of schools, nord anglia education was an invaluable asset during this time, learning from our sister schools around the world about what had been trialed, what had been successful and what had not, helped to strategically focus our plan. protocols and guidance from khda were adhered to, new personal health and safety certification was gained, upskilling in track and trace investigations, sanitisation requirements and signage for a one-way system in a vast building such as ours all in place. then we were ready for september!
that first day was filled with a mixture of emotions from everyone. from trepidation, nervousness and even some levels of anxiety to genuine excitement from those desperate to be back in school. seeing and hearing the buzz of the students back in the building adhering to the many new guidelines made it all worthwhile. even with face masks, social distancing and restrictions on social gathering, a sense of community was re-established very quickly here at nas dubai.
沙巴体育怎么玩teachers continue with their creative approach to the curriculum, making adaptions that ensure our children are safe but still working collaboratively and enjoying learning with their peers. the sense of being #inthistogether is tangible, teachers on duty in the corridors, in the classroom and supporting the security teams with the start and end of the day, pick up and drop off, the versatility of our facilities team adapting over the initial weeks, organising classrooms, ensuring a smooth one-way system around the building and creating learning spaces for our bubbles of 10.
沙巴体育怎么玩parents working alongside us, with restricted entry, to ensure the safety of all our community, entrusting their most precious cargo with us has seen our numbers for on-campus learning increase, as parents feel increasingly secure in our health and safety systems and procedures.
at times it was exhausting. the first few weeks of the unknown meant everyone’s anxiety, including my own, was sky high the desire to get everything in place and to get it right, with so much to do, a different learning environment with a whole new set of rules and expectations to follow seemed daunting – but we got there. as always, the children have shown us how resilient they are with our ‘new norm’ in these times; true nas dubai ambassadors we are all proud of!
our journey continues, as a team we evolve and learn each day with the changes in regulations, daily covid crisis team meetings, completing ministry documentation, and being on call with dha and khda 24 hours a day, as we try to reach some kind of ‘normality’ during this time of the pandemic. continually reviewing, reflecting upon and evolving our systems and processes to ensure the health and safety and the best of learning experiences for our students is at the forefront of all we do, never compromising the safety of our school community each day. our students continue to enjoy attending school, filling the corridors with laughter and smiles and remaining engaged, curious and excited about their learning, because we are nas dubai!
沙巴体育怎么玩For those of us who can say that we taught in 2020, it will be a year that we’ll never forget! If I had to choose one word that encapsulated this year, it would be FLEXIBILITY. Things seemed to change almost daily, and like the #teacherheroes that we are, we rose to the challenge. Our love for our students remained our primary motivation, and as we suddenly moved to online learning, we looked for new ways to reach them and continue to help them meet their goals. There’s a proverb that says, “In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” Teachers were most definitely learners in 2020! Zoom, SeeSaw, editing and recording videos, Google forms, Nearpod – the list of our newly acquired skills is extensive.
沙巴体育怎么玩and now we’re learning again: how to be back at school with some of our students, while still connecting with those students who are learning at home. having students back in my classroom after 6 months away is a joy. the students are so resilient, quickly adapting to the new social distancing norms and the mandatory wearing of masks. my grade 3 students have amazed me with their maturity, demonstrating their understanding of the world as it is today and doing what is necessary to keep themselves and their families safe. my fellow teachers have amazed me with their willingness to collaborate and share ideas, and my administration has amazed me with their creative problem-solving abilities. my students’ families have amazed me with their support, demonstrating that we are all truly #inthistogether. i’m confident that whatever the future holds, students and teachers together will hold on to the lessons we’ve learned in 2020, and together continue to be life-long learners.
My name is Jon Hughes and I am a Year 6 teacher at The British International School Abu Dhabi.
it has been fantastic to safely return to school and to be able to resume the face to face teaching. virtual learning was incredibly successful. however, being able to teach and interact with children within the school is something that was sorely missed, which was evident from the children’s reaction on the first day back this term.
沙巴体育怎么玩the safety measures in school have allowed staff to return safely whilst also delivering high-quality lessons. during this pandemic, teaching has changed dramatically and the ways in which children interact with each other have been altered. technology has enabled me to engage all children in the classroom as well as those learning virtually. through platforms such as teams and one note, the children are still able to work collaboratively in groups and learn in a variety of ways.
being a teacher is an incredibly rewarding job, but none more so than at bisad during this global pandemic. being able to provide children with a sense of normality, whilst teaching them new skills, allowing them to socialise with their friends and explore new topics has been a great relief.
沙巴体育怎么玩I am Sophie Bowle and I am a Year 1 teacher at The British International School, Abu Dhabi.
although i feel virtual learning was a big success, nothing will ever be able to replace face-to-face teaching. it’s the little things like hearing the enthusiasm as they discover new things, watching them smile as they come into the classroom and listening to their laughter as they tell you a story, that i missed the most.
沙巴体育怎么玩teaching during a pandemic has been an experience i will never forget, but seeing the resilience and enthusiasm that our students have shown in the most difficult of times, has reminded me that there is no better job in the world.
since we have been back in school, it has been so lovely to be able to see the excitement in the children’s faces as they are able to see their friends and be in the classroom again. we have been very lucky that bis abu dhabi’s outstanding facilities have enabled us to have all of our children back in school so i have been able to get the children settled into the new routines and engaged in learning quickly.
I am grateful to BIS Abu Dhabi for prioritising the wellbeing and safety沙巴体育怎么玩 of the children and judging from the big smiles on their faces, I think all of the children are very happy to be back in their classroom. It has been a very successful start to the term and I am excited to see what the rest of the year will bring.
Returning to campus after such a long break was exciting, but there was also that little feeling of ‘how will things be?’ and ‘will the children be happy?’.
i have the added excitement of this being my first year as a kg1 teacher here at nibras international school. the children have totally taken me by surprise! even though they find social distancing to be a challenge, they are so happy to be back in school, making friends and interacting with their teachers. they are tapping into their creativity in order to find alternative ways to say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. their excitement makes me smile and helps to put into perspective what has been the most challenging six months ever.
we have protocols and guidelines to follow. these help to keep us all safe, and schools to stay open and functioning. ultimately this benefits our students and enables them to continue their education with us. the future is still somewhat unknown but if we take each day as it comes and remember why we are here then all will be well. just remember to be kind, be patient and stay strong!
Back to school was different for everyone – teachers, parents, and students. I feel most for parents of kindergarten students, as it was not ideal that their child was starting school in the midst of a pandemic.
沙巴体育怎么玩for our students at nibras international school i can see that some were excited to return back to school, while some were anxious. as a teacher i was eager to go back to the classrooms, but i was a little nervous about how the whole mask scenario and social distancing was going to work in kindergarten. i think the main thing is that all teachers understand that we need to be even more flexible and patient this year, as the situation is changing all the time, and our families will need more support.
of course, the first week was challenging for the whole school community, because it was different. we were in smaller bubbles, not able to hug friends and teachers, not able to play on the playground equipment, no football games, no swimming, having to sit far away from each other.
沙巴体育怎么玩a few weeks into the year, and i feel as a school we have all risen to the occasion and are doing our best to maintain a safe environment for the students where learning does not stop!
沙巴体育怎么玩we are all in this together and we will all get through this together!
after 6 months away from the physical school, i was champing at the bit to return. personal interaction with colleagues and students is the most time-consuming aspect of the job, but soon became my most missed during distance learning. it is amazing how a greeting and a friendly face can raise your mood and set you up for a positive and productive day.
沙巴体育怎么玩i had no qualms about the teaching and learning aspect of the job as i had honed my skills in the last 6 months, utilizing the latest technology and platforms provided by the school. so, the fact that we would be partly online and partly face to face did not faze me. indeed, the school’s online learning had been so successful that we were granted a ‘developed’ status by the ministry of education, following an inspection.
in the beginning, i was concerned as to how i was going to wear and teach in a mask all day. yet, as always in schools, once you’re there, you just do it! it is a job of flexibility and resilience. frankly, the only substantial difference i’ve noticed is the need to be hyper-vigilant about health & safety and find myself constantly issuing directives: “please cover your nose”, “remember social distancing,’ “antibac your hands,” being the most frequent. this has become the ‘new normal’ within which teaching and learning will continue, as it always has, but under the protective shield of our facilities & maintenance team.
沙巴体育怎么玩meanwhile, it is encouraging to see how easily the students have slotted back into routines and are clearly enjoying being in each other’s company, after such a long spell of social isolation.
It has been an exciting time coming back to school沙巴体育怎么玩 as I have missed the children dearly. I have gained exciting new skills during the lockdown and adapted to online learning. It was a challenge in the beginning, but like all humans, we adapt and succeed. Education is imperative to our children and being in a classroom setting is a special gift for them. We will continue to remain safe and most importantly positive about the coming months. Whether you are online learning or face to face with your teacher, you are learning. That is the most important.
Going back to school during this pandemic has been both challenging and rewarding. Children and teachers were much more prepared to teach students how to keep themselves and everyone around safe.
as i reflect on the first week of on-site learning, i am reminded of how understanding, responsible, caring, and patient our young students are. both students and teachers will forever be grateful for measures put in place that allow us to have our students with us on this learning journey.
As with anything in life, there are advantages as well as challenges that come with our experiences. Teaching in the Covid era is one prime example where we can not only dissect these differences but also learn from them.
the clearest benefit and satisfaction we can glean from online learning is that teachers and students are all safer than if we were to be face to face. all of the factors that directly impact our health are not present (ie: social distancing, wearing masks, sanitising). we can breathe a little easier knowing that adhering to these mandates is not our first priority.
online learning, however, presents itself with many challenges that are quite difficult to overcome or impossible to surmount with a screen in between you and your students.
沙巴体育怎么玩three to highlight in primary year levels are:
沙巴体育怎么玩the world has had to adjust in myriad ways to covid-19, but i think we can all agree that a complete and total upheaval of our children’s education has had an impact we may all feel for years to come.
沙巴体育怎么玩With the advent of Covid-19 and its well-documented interruptions to our societies at large, I didn’t originally consider how teaching and learning would become fundamentally different during our headfirst dive into the world of online learning. It quickly became apparent that what worked in the classroom was not necessarily best practice online and we would need to soon implement new strategies to ensure student engagement, success and most importantly well-being.
with initial student engagement fluctuating, we took an intuitive step and re-evaluated our teaching strategies and went back-to-basics; with a focus on the fostering and maintenance of positive relationships at the forefront (teacher-student and student-student alike). incorporating regular brain breaks, opportunities for online group work and physical activity, a quality over quantity approach to curriculum and an overall compassionate outlook has ensured that our students have avoided the media-emphasised brain drain so prevalent in the online learning environment.
沙巴体育怎么玩a three-tiered structure to lesson planning provided a platform with which our students engaged with the learning included live, recorded and independent elements, all of which enabled the possibility of frequent, meaningful feedback, tailored to the class and individual level. as such, our community’s feedback has been an overwhelmingly positive one and a tribute to the perseverance of our students, their families and our staff. while we enter the new stage of a hyflex model, i know our school’s online learning motto ‘learning is looking different at ais’ is here to stay.
A key part of teaching is being able to use all of your senses at the same time to know everything that is happening inside your classroom. Teaching online takes away your ability to monitor students in real-time, makes group work nearly impossible and puts a lot of faith in often unpredictable technology. The biggest issue I have found with online learning, however, is how limiting it is to social interactions and the development of key social skills. Students in primary school are at the age where they develop skills like sharing, teamwork and manners but without other students to learn alongside, these skills will be lacking. Despite all of this, my class has seen consistent academic growth which appears to be due to the lack of distractions that come with learning from the quiet of their bedroom. I’ve also noticed that using some online tools are less stressful as students are able to work at their own pace rather than being expected to keep up with the rest of the class. I’m curious to see the long-term effects that online learning has on students’ progress.
Starting the new year this year came with many unknowns. When will I see my students? Will I only be teaching online? How will the start of the year be structured?
fortunately, in the weeks before school started, many of these questions were answered. reach british school is using a blended learning approach (one week of distance learning and the next week face to face), and this has helped me to get to know my students more than if we were only doing distance learning. with all the guidelines and protocols put in place at reach british school, i have felt that i am teaching within a healthy and safe environment.
沙巴体育怎么玩the new school year has been a positive experience as the excitement of learning from the children have brightened days that otherwise could feel bleak.
Coming back to school this year has been full of new ways of teaching with a host of challenges. Newlands has shown how, as a school, we are ready to embrace technology ensuring that, through the use of in-class cameras, bluetooth microphones and high-quality Wi-Fi, we are able to simultaneously deliver lessons to students both inside the classroom and at home! Students and teachers have adapted fantastically to the ‘new normal’ and we are constantly implementing new learning technologies to ensure that the education we deliver is engaging and modern whilst remaining purposeful and meaningful!
沙巴体育怎么玩Coming back to school has obviously been very different this year but everyone seems to have risen to the challenge. The children are aware of Covid-19 safety rules and follow them brilliantly with an understanding of their importance. Within the classrooms, we are running a new model of teaching, in which I teach online and in two ‘bubbles’ simultaneously and the technology we began using during online learning has supported us to make this possible. Although times are different and challenging, the pupils have been fantastic at adapting to the changes and the new ways of teaching in 2020 have been successful, so far.
沙巴体育怎么玩Distance Education has provided us the opportunity to help children develop their interpersonal skills along with technical literacy. After we have started the in-person learning, I feel the true passion for working with children getting the chance to promote self-help skills and empower the children to believe in themselves. I enjoy getting to know each child as a unique individual, finding out what makes them tick, and then using this knowledge to help them grow, to maximize their strengths, and to build their confidence and competence by face to face interaction. I find it so rewarding to be an integral part of their development by creating the best learning environment that fosters creative thinking, problem-solving, and playful learning.
Did you face any challenges when returning back to school?
There were many challenges when returning back to school, such as; how would we support the children through this difficult period if we need to stay 2 meters apart? How do we as teachers stay safe? How can we make sure all the protocols and procedures were in place and ensuring everyone; staff, children and parents adhered to them? More importantly, how do we create a safe, warm, loving, caring environment when school is so different from what it has been in the past?
If so, how did you overcome the challenges?
We worked together as a school and in smaller teams to ensure the classrooms and school was a fun and exciting place to be in again. Yes, a few changes were made to accommodate the new guidelines, no soft furnishing and social distancing, but the teachers made excellent bonds with the children from very early on to ensure they were happy to come to school. The children are encouraged to talk about their feelings and ask questions about the world around them and explore the different things they had seen, for example, thermometers, masks, thermal cameras and so they had a greater understanding.
What was your overall experience returning to campus learning?
沙巴体育怎么玩Relieved and Excited. Although my Foundation Stage team and myself had a very positive and fun experience distance learning, a teacher’s heart is in the classroom. I was very happy to prepare my classroom and welcome the children back. The first day was very emotional, seeing the parents bring their children back to school and accept that this was the ‘new normal’; hand washing, sanitizing, masks. The children are so resilient and brave. More so than adults, they accept things for what they are and continue to thrive with a smile.
I’m Ceanlia Vermeulen, People Of Determination Coordinator (PODCO) at Al Yasat Private School.
沙巴体育怎么玩the covid-19 crisis struck at a point when most education systems were not ready for the world of digital learning opportunities. lucky for us at ayps, we have the necessary technical and pedagogical skills to integrate digital devices in instruction as we are technologically advanced with adequate software for learning.
we’ve been providing accommodations and making modifications to teach people of determination (pod) who are fully integrated in our mainstream classes, which include extensions of time for assignments. the covid-19 crisis has been a learning experience and a challenge for all stakeholders. nobody saw this coming and as a result, al yasat staff, students and parents have not been prepared for this but we’ve been creating tools on the go.
in today’s unprecedented time, we’ve focused on educational challenges caused by covid-19. we early on recognized the critical importance of connecting with our students and families, and this is more important now than ever before. the staff makes time to check in with students and help guide them through any work they may be struggling with. there’s been correspondence and communication with our parents and students depending on the level of special needs and the level of service that they need. teachers are working with students, one-to-one, and working with parents one-to-one, trying to help provide lessons and instruction.
沙巴体育怎么玩most people of determination needs are being handled on a case-by-case basis. each family has its own individual needs and challenges, and our staff is working with our families to make sure our students are getting what they need during all of this.
while our amazing government and health officials are doing their best to slow this outbreak down, we continue to provide quality education for all during these difficult times. we are providing services to the greatest extent possible, given the constraints related to the health emergency. we talk with parents about how services can best be provided and arrangements are made to meet those needs. to me, this was an excellent chance to form strong connections with staff members and with parents. the teacher to parent relationship is important for people of determination. i feel that digital learning provided us the opportunity to learn in new ways and made us rethink how we collectively think about the school system.
sadly, kids miss out on speech or occupational therapy but services are available online. one of the biggest challenges of covid-19 has been challenging not just for schools, but for families and other institutions. it has not been easy, but it’s something we’re doing. we’re achieving and overcoming. i am so proud of the work that we are doing with our students and families. right now our first priority is everyone’s safety and positive mental wellbeing.
let’s use this experience to positively change the way we think of education and how we support and learn from one another while getting through this pandemic together.
we are blessed with an executive principal like dr. jake madden and his support team who guided, encouraged, supported and influenced us to follow our vision to be an “inspirational, leading-edge international school dedicated to nurturing outstanding role models, responsible global citizens and informed leaders of the future”.
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