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2024 is here and educators are navigating the return to classrooms, fully aware of the ongoing challenges in the long tail of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of disruptions caused by remote learning, this new academic beginning offers an opportunity for adaptation and resilience, particularly when proactive strategies are implemented.

Six C's for Embracing Learning in 2024

Educators benefit from prioritising positive relationships with their new students and concentrating on meaningful connections rather than academic content. Establishing clear learning pathways and explaining routines ease the transition into the academic year. Involving students in project planning and resource preparation builds competence and responsibility and empowers them with control over their learning environment. Allowing students' input in organising the space and caring for materials creates a supportive atmosphere. It promotes a sense they are valued and inspires their engagement from the beginning.

2. Cooperation

Educators might invite students into a shared responsibility for the classroom process. By collaboratively establishing clear expectations and defining roles and responsibilities, potential conflicts transform into opportunities for cooperation. This cooperative approach sets the stage for a positive and inclusive learning environment.

3. Consistency

Establishing predictable classroom routines brings stability, offering students a familiar foundation. Whether it's the structure of daily activities or the arrangement of the physical space, a consistent approach helps create a sense of security, allowing students to focus on their academic pursuits.

4. Calm

Transitions may be challenging to students in different ways. Allowing time for students to adapt and modelling calmness in challenging situations sets a positive example for managing emotions. This focus on emotional well-being contributes to a supportive and nurturing classroom environment to develop resilience and a positive student mindset.

5. Cardio

Exercise and outdoor activities are an investment in holistic growth. Prioritising physical well-being contributes to overall health and improved cognitive functioning. Encouraging outdoor activities, whether at school or during leisure, promotes rejuvenation and stress reduction. Team sports, educational walks or exercises forge bonds through shared experiences, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

6. Conversation

Maintaining open and honest communication expresses trust within the learning community. Actively listening to students creates a safe space for them to voice their ideas and concerns. Being acknowledged contributes to a sense of belonging. Establishing a weekly "check-in" time provides a comfortable space for dialogue, further strengthening the teacher-student relationship. This action maintains a supportive atmosphere where students feel heard and understood.

As students step back into the school environment in 2024, the strategies encapsulated in the Six C's, represent a practical blueprint for a successful transition.

Best of luck for the new school year!

Lili-Ann Kriegler (B. A Hons, H. Dip. Ed, M.Ed.) is an education consultant and founder of Kriegler Education. She is a family and child advocate who believes in the transformative power of education. Lili-Ann is an award-winning author of 'Edu-Chameleon' for teachers and 'Roots and Wings' for parents. Lili-Ann specialises in early childhood education, pedagogical leadership and optimising human thinking.

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