10 Tips for Swapping Classrooms Safely in COVID-19 Setup
This week on the Eduspot blog, we’re very grateful to bring you a piece written by history teacher Dan Howes. Dan has written his top 10 tips for schools to use when changing classrooms constantly amongst the new coronavirus protocols. Here are his tips:
Laminate A3 blank sheets. These are for your title and l/o. Although it will be on your PowerPoint anyway and you could easily write it on the board when you arrive, it will save valuable time to just have it written down in advance before the start of your day. Blue tac it up on the board to write down ASAP while the computer is logging on. After the lesson wipe them clean to use again the next day. Could equally be used for putting up the plenary task, as it means you can start to log off etc. without losing the slides on the board.
TIMING! You are going to have to start and finish lessons very promptly. You have to be packed away and ready to leave well in advance, allowing you to arrive to your next lesson on time. The last thing you want is to be late or make anyone else late. Set a timer on your phone and when it goes off, wrap things up, regardless of where you are with the lesson.
Have all resources sorted in zippy plastic wallets, labelled by lesson, including white board pens. That way you can just stuff everything away at the end of the lesson if you are in a rush and not worry about having to unpick the mess at the start of the next one. Finish your lesson messy, but start the next one clean! Box files might help with this also, although they are bulky.
See if you can leave little caches of resources in rooms in advance. If you know you will have a lot to do in a day, visiting a classroom in advance to drop some stuff off might be handy. Especially useful with heavy stuff like textbooks.
Spare water. Just because. You have to look after yourself!
Starters pre-printed and ready to go. This way you can turn up and get the pupils going straight away and log on in peace, without them watching you while they wait for instructions. Might be good for settling them down, so think carefully about what could be used as a calming starter activity.
Make sure you plan/bring snacks. You may finish your lesson before break quite far away from your office space, so having something with you will enable you to go on ahead to next lesson without having to double back during break. Just head to the next room and give yourself more time to relax. However, try to get back to your colleagues for lunch if you can.
Clearly label things left in your own classroom. Might sound selfish, but if your classroom is not going to be purely yours for a while, it will ensure others don’t help themselves to your carefully planned resources. However, make sure that there are some easy to find resources that will be useful to others e.g. lined paper.
Have a master folder with registers and seating plans. Take a paper register straight away and then backfill onto SIMS as soon as you can. This will mean you can register very quickly and get going with your lesson. Seating plans are likely to be set based on any CV19 guidance, but worth having a copy of them in advance. If you get the chance to do your own version with SEN/PPG etc., all the better. You can export most of this from SIMS easily enough.
Try not to have things like video clips at the start or end of lessons, as you be reliant on starting/finishing promptly. Have video clips in the middle part, as everything will be switched on and ready to go. Video at the start and you could delay the start of the lesson waiting for it to load up. Video at the end might overrun or not start in time to finish it.