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Help me! I'm scared!



Senior Member
<!--giggle-->Just joking--sorta. Due to an injury I have not worked at all this school year. And I have not been in a physical classroom with students since March 11, 2019. I should be returning in a week or so and I have never felt more unprepared in my life. I feel like I don't even know where to start. All my teacher friends keep talking about how hard this year is for them--Covid procedures (masks and "distancing", eating in classrooms) and lack of skills of all sorts because of virtual preK.

What tips and advice can you give me? I don't even know what specific questions to ask. Is it really so different from previous years?

Also, if you've had a long leave, how did you transition your students? The kids know my name and know the sub is a sub, but they have never met me.

I didn't even set up my classroom. Another teacher used my room from March-May last year. Everything was packed up for construction over the summer. The sub, assistant, and few random coworkers unpacked all the boxes because the fire marshal wouldn't let them keep them the boxes in the room (seriously? cause the cardboard boxes are more flammable than the paper in the boxes?).

Anyway, I'm freaking out. Thanks for any advice that can make this a smoother transition!


Senior Member
Welcome back!

It is a very different year, I will give you that. In a lot of ways I feel like I'm teaching preschool. Just be prepared to take a step way back from where you would normally be. It's not horrible, just... different. In our school we are definitely seeing a lack of social skills, but it's more than that. Yet it's hard to describe. I think because kids have had so much time with parents, and so much attention from parents, that they just don't quite know how to function without it. And they are excited to be in school and be together and play, but they don't really know how to do that, either. It's kind of like, instead of having one or two kids that are rolling around or handsy or whatever, it's five or six kids. And instead of a couple that don't know how to follow multi-step directions, half of them don't know how. Again, be prepared to just take it slow.

My school doesn't have to distance but I did last year and that's a whole different beast. Masks are a pain, but they aren't horrible. But trying to keep them apart? Ummm, no. It just doesn't happen. I eventually just gave up.

Is it possible to do a day or two with the sub? That seems like it would make the transition easier for everyone.