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How to Transition Back to In-Person Learning

By Nadia Jackson

Centennial, along with the other high schools in District 60, has made the decision to once again offer classes on the hybrid schedule - in which students experience face-to-face instruction on either Monday and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays - and learn asynchronously on their days from home.

While this transition back to in-person is not the first of the 2020-2021 school year, the last session of in-person instruction lasted only about a month, so it is safe to say students have once again acclimated to virtual learning.

To ease the transition back to in-person instruction and find academic success while also staying safe, follow these tips:

  1. Get your sleep schedule back on track!

Working from home requires a lot of discipline, especially if you wish to maintain a schedule closely related to that of a normal school day. However, there can certainly be slip-ups. If one of your slip-ups was an inability to maintain a functional sleep schedule that works with the in-person school day, it could be helpful to fix it.

Stay off your phone and any other electronics at least an hour before you intend to go to bed as the blue light can keep you up. Instead opt to read a book or journal in order to tire your eyes out.

It is recommended that teenagers get between eight and ten hours of sleep per night in order to be at their healthiest.

  1. Stay informed.

With so many unknowns this year, it is important to educate yourself on CDC guidelines in regards to COVID-19 and social gatherings.

Ensure that you have an effective mask that you can wear inside the school, and anywhere else in public for that matter, as well as ensuring you maintain social distancing. The more educated you are about safety and sanitization, the more protected the community is.

  1. Utilize a planner or calendar.

Virtual schooling can be simple organizationally as the computer tends to keep track of which assignments are due when. While in-person instruction will still utilize the Google Classrooms platform for turning in assignments, teachers may ask you to work on things ahead of time or in a particular way.

In order to stay organized and informed prior to any deadlines, it could be helpful to utilize a planner or calendar in order to visualize what needs to be done and when. This tool is especially useful in prioritizing assignments and managing studying for tests.

  1. Plan rides to and from school.

Obviously when instruction was at home only, it was easy to ensure you could make it to class on time, but now there is the added factor of transportation.

If you cannot drive or walk yourself, ensure that you have reliable transportation to and from school on the days you attend, in addition to any practices you may attend for winter sports.

Planning and confirming this method of transportation ahead of time ensures that there is no confusion when it comes time to attend classes. Remember that school starts at 7:30 am and ends at 3:20 pm.

  1. Establish a work/personal life balance that is manageable.

Try to schedule your asynchronous days in a way that ensures you focus and finish all necessary work for each of your classes. It can be easy to procrastinate during the day, or lack focus, but that is only cheating yourself.

If you are struggling to do this, try to schedule your time like the in-person instruction days in which you work on each class for about an hour with a five minute break in between switching subjects.

This schedule allows for consistency and more time for yourself once the school day is over.

  1. Organize and sanitize.

Establish an organization system that works for you and all of your classes if you have not already. Once this system has been established, try to maintain it throughout the week.

Utilize binder, notebooks, and folders in order to ensure each class has its own designated spot. Remember to bring pencils, pens, calculators, water bottles, and anything else you use on a daily basis.

It may be useful to sanitize school supplies after in-person instruction each day in order to ensure you do not bring any germs from the classroom to your home.

  1. Find rewards.

Remember that it had been a very difficult year in so many ways, so it is okay to be patient with yourself if you feel overwhelmed.

Be proud of the little victories throughout your day, and use that to fuel your success in the classroom.

Establish a support system that you can lean on during difficult times and celebrate with during good times.

You can utilize the weekends to do something you love as a reward for your persistence during the week.

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