I started this school year with such great hopes.
I know I was ready to take what I learned from a year of distance learning and help my future students feel successful again. Things like new tech tools to help make mathematics more interactive and creating lessons to center my students rather than the math. So many students kept repeating: "I learn better in person." I took it as they were looking forward to being back in the classroom and being excited to learn.
I was wrong. I made so many incorrect assumptions.
I should have known better. I assumed that the transition would be easy and only take a month or two - maximum. Not so. It was clear my students had lost more than time. They had lost the necessary social skills to interact in an educational setting. They had a tough time undoing bad habits made during distance learning. The struggle to self-regulate they had before had been magnified. They were completely attached to their cell phones as if that was their security blanket. So many things I should have seen coming. But my excitement and eagerness to be back face to face over-shadowed all that.
I wish I had spent more time on helping my students transition back. I wish I had researched more about how to help my students deal with the trauma and isolation for over a year. I wish I could go back in time and restart this school year.
I have learned that I need to take a step back before I help my students step forward.