Back to school: exciting, challenging, or getting ready for the unexpected?

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Teachers and parents from around the world talk about how they feel about the new school year.

Soon, many students and teachers will be going back to school for another year, which cannot be fully predicted or planned with Covid-19 still a worldwide concern.

How do parents feel, how will they support their kids and what lessons have they learned from their previous experiences?

And what about teachers? Are they excited, or perhaps, anxious? What challenges do they anticipate facing?

Let’s see what they have to say about the upcoming school year.

Concerned voices of parents

“We are prepared for online education to be a part of our everyday lives, and to stay with us for good.”

Anna, a parent of a first grader, Poland

My daughter starts first grade this September. We are prepared for online education to be a part of our everyday lives, and to stay with us for good. Luckily, we have a lot of experience from pre-school and my child has been trained in having online lessons, though I know it is not the same for everyone. Nevertheless, the beginning of formal school education is extremely important to develop passion for learning, good self-study routines, motivation, or even more importantly – relationships and group dynamics. I wish, probably just like every single parent, the kids will get a chance to enjoy the privilege of meeting in person, playing together and learning in the classroom, as well as doing their best to switch to online classes if and when needed.

“Kids have lost the passion for learning and I do not see a way to bring it back.”

Lorena, a parent of a 12-year-old, Italy

My son used to go to school with pleasure. He liked learning by doing, working in a group, everything that involved collaborative tasks and projects. Online education was a huge shock for him as everything that motivated him for learning has disappeared. Teachers did a great job looking for new initiatives, making lessons interactive and giving the kids the opportunity to communicate with each other, as well as with other kids from around the world. Still, my view is that with online education, kids have lost the passion for learning and I do not see a way or bringing it back. Let’s see what this year has in store for us.

“We will accept all limitations as long as our kids can continue learning in school. I cannot imagine managing work and school again.“

Sergio, a parent of a 15-year-old, Spain

Last year we were lucky as kids in Spain were able to return to the classroom and study at school. There were some changes that we, as parents had to accept, or new ways of working the kids had to adapt to. I believe I speak on behalf of every single parent here in Spain, and probably even those in other countries, that we will accept all limitations as long as our kids can continue learning in school. I cannot imagine managing work and school again. It was a moment when I think we all really appreciated what a great job teachers do and that we all should be extremely grateful for their passion, engagement and motivation for teaching.

“I feel the quality of online education is not the same as in class. With exams coming I am worried about how they will manage.”

Bahar, a parent of a 17-year-old, Turkey

I can see my almost adult child spends a lot of time in front of the screen – having online lessons, doing projects, staying in touch with peers. With all due respect, I feel the quality of online education is not the same as in class. With exams coming I am worried about how they will manage. It is so hard to maintain their motivation and focus on exam preparation, as well as making sure they have a space to recharge batteries and build relationships in the real world.

Hopeful outlook of teachers

“I feel full of new energy but a little bit afraid of limits that may hinder, or restrict us somehow.”

Anna, Secondary teacher, Poland

I feel full of new energy but a little bit afraid of limits that may hinder, or restrict us somehow. We do not know yet what will happen, and this makes us pretty unsure about what the limits may be. I hope we will be able to do our regular job as well as we can.

“I am eager to find out the challenges and if I can really handle them in a productive way”

Anastasia, Freelance teacher, Greece

“I am hopeful about the new school year.”

Ritik, secondary teacher, India

I am hopeful about the new school year. Yes, I’m excited to see beautiful kids back in the classroom. They will bring beauty back to school. I’m a bit anxious too about their safety.

The biggest challenge for me is to make a proper seating plan as per the Covid protocol. It’s a tough task to keep the kids separate.

I am looking forward to using the new tools and techniques I learned from the Pearson & BBC Live Classes and from amazing teachers from different countries.

I’m also looking forward to seeing the kids and boosting their morale. They have passed through a horrible time too early in their lives.

It’s time to reconnect!

We are always grateful to have a chance to listen to and talk to parents and teachers, to understand the challenges you face and how we can support you.

Parents of primary kids can benefit from a variety of home-learning resources available through. Pearson Primary Academy.

Teachers looking for ways to motivate their students, or develop their own skills, should check out our back to school content and our free webinars. You’ll also find lots of inspiration in our resources page available on the Pearson English Portal. Or why not consider registering your students for the next edition of Pearson and BBC Live Classes so they can interact with others from around the world?

Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think is important in education and what challenges you might face this year.

Download our All About Me worksheet

Why not start the first class back by getting to know your students a little better. Download our All About Me worksheets, available in British (BrE) and American (AmE) English. There’s one worksheet for primary students and another for secondary students. The perfect ice breaker activity.

Enjoy!

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