An international school teacher reflects on lessons learnt from the circuit breaker and how it underscores the importance of in-person learning for teachers and students alike
This year, the back-to-school season is unlike any other. Under normal circumstances, parents are typically concerned about getting the right supplies for the upcoming year and preparing their students for waking up with the alarm again. But now, during a worldwide pandemic, parents are most concerned about the health and safety of their children.
After the Circuit Breaker lifted in Singapore, many schools reopened with new safety guidelines in place for both staff and students. Everyone is beginning to adjust to the new normal, which includes face masks/shields, social distancing, altered activity routines and different seating arrangements.
It’s understandable that some parents may be feeling anxious about sending their children back to school this August after a long summer break, but it’s important to remember that all schools are doing their best to follow government guidelines on hygiene and safe distancing.
As students get excited to enter their classrooms again, parents should keep in mind that in-person learning is critical for children. Here are a few reasons why in-person learning will always be important for students of all ages:
- Teachers can better mentor students when they are physically in a classroom.
While teachers have been able to come up with innovative ideas to use technology to connect with their students from a distance, it’s become clear that students can be more effectively guided and mentored when they are present in the classroom.
- Students form stronger bonds with their friends when they are engaged in classroom life.
Socialisation is a critical part of school life, and children of all ages practice their social skills in the school environment.
- In-person learning allows for better collaboration between students.
When students are in a classroom together, they can work as a team to solve common problems.
- Physical activity can be a priority when students are in school.
Students are able to enjoy health and fitness classes as well as unstructured playtime in outdoor areas. This physical activity can help minimise their stress as well.
- Teachers and staff members are trained to nurture students and to help guide them as they navigate their way through life.
While OWIS made it a priority to stay connected during school closures, better pastoral care can be provided when the entire community is together.
- There are many mental health benefits associated with in-person learning.
Students often feel safe and comfortable within their school buildings, and they know that there is a structure at school that they can count on. Students’ emotional and mental health can be supported in the classroom.
At One World International School, we are committed to fostering a love of learning in our students, whether in the classroom or through virtual lessons, as the need may be. Our students have adapted well to changes in the school routines brought about by the Covid pandemic and were excited to be back in school when we resumed in-class lessons in June. We look forward to welcoming them back in the last week of August when our new academic year begins.
Interested parents who would like to understand how we’ve adapted to change in the Covid-era, and why our students continue to love school, are encouraged to take a virtual tour of OWIS today in order to learn more.
One World International School
Nanyang Campus: 21 Jurong West Street 81, Singapore 649075, Tel: (+65) 6914 6700
East Coast Campus: Block G, 231 Mountbatten Road, Singapore 397999, Tel: (+65) 6914 7350