The COVID-19 pandemic brought in-person classes to a halt back in early-2020. As schools moved classes online, students and teachers no longer needed to come to their classrooms. The internet became a virtual teaching space.
All that went on for almost a year. However, things got progressively better. And with the government carrying out vaccination programs, the situation had somewhat improved. Soon, schools started in-person classes again.
However, new COVID-19 variants are popping up now and then. The latest Omicron variant is already causing panic worldwide. As the situation is starting to look bleak, schools in the US might once again have to rethink their strategies.
This time, however, online classes might not be the solution they go for. Instead, we might see some drastic changes inside the classrooms to accommodate students and teachers in this new normal that we talk about.
So what changes can we expect in school classrooms come 2022? Let us find out.
New Additions to the School Dress Code
Most schools in the US do not have a school uniform. Students must maintain a certain dress code when coming to school. However, the US is putting a lot of emphasis on its citizens masking up.
The country is continuously asking its people to wear masks in public spaces. They are making it compulsory in many areas as well. The government there is doing all that to keep people safe. And soon, schools will have to adopt this practice too.
A lot of schools are already doing this. However, as COVID cases rise, schools are likely to get stricter about this policy. We might soon see schools stopping students from entering the campus without masks.
There is bound to be some backlash if the school districts make this policy mandatory. This time, however, the schools will not pay heed to any of this. For them, ensuring the safety of teachers and students inside the classrooms is of utmost priority.
A Change in School Furniture and Classroom Layout
The desks for schools will need some major overhauling. Joint school desks, that sit two students, might cease to exist. Instead, we might have one desk per student. Schools will likely get more replacement parts for these desks. Whenever a student gets COVID, the school will replace that desk or its replaceable parts. The same goes for the chairs.
Apart from the school furniture, schools will also opt for a different layout. They are likely to minimize the number of students inside a classroom at a time. Besides, they will surely expand the gaps between the two desks. The goal is to keep the students as far away from one another as possible. Maintaining this distance can reduce the chances of spreading COVID within the classrooms.
Online and In-Person Classes Might Run Simultaneously
A COVID infection can put a student out of action for weeks. And even if they are feeling well, under those circumstances, they cannot come to school. Otherwise, they might infect the rest of the class. However, schools will not stop classes over a few COVID cases. And at the same time, affected students cannot afford to miss classes. Hence, schools are likely to switch to a hybrid or dual method of teaching.
In this dual method, the teacher will be teaching the class in person. At the same time, cameras and microphones will also be there for an online screening of the same class. Through this online screening, students affected by COVID or at home, in general, can attend those classes with their peers. That way, schools will not have to stop their academic activities, nor will the students have to miss classes. Also Read – Can Online Education Be Compatible With Traditional One?
Fewer Group Projects
It is best if students maintain distance from one another. Of course, they will still hang out and play around, but schools will still try to minimize such contacts. One way they might attempt to do so is by reducing the number of group projects. That way, students do not have to interact with one another as much. In a way, this will reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus on campus.
These changes are scary when you think about them. After all, school life for millions of kids around the US and the world will never be the same. However, all these steps will be necessary if COVID-19 continues to spread around the world. Thus, we can only wait and try to keep ourselves safe till the day COVID disappears or stops spreading.