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Exchanging masks for maturity: The demise of school etiquette

October 23, 2021

Teachers+struggle+to+keep+student+focused+and+engaged+with+the+return+to+in-person+learning.

Faith Nelson

Teachers struggle to keep student focused and engaged with the return to in-person learning.

After more than an entire year of remote learning, it is clear that some of the pre-pandemic classroom etiquette has gone missing. Cellphone usage, speaking over teachers and failure to follow instructions are only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to student behavior now that school is back in session.

The results of remote learning impacted the usual classroom routine for some teachers more than others. Choir Director Joy Belt-Roslieb spoke to the challenge that COVID-19 posed in her classes and how it continues to be a roadblock in the classroom today.

“I think remote learning in itself is its own challenge, but I think students found freedom to behave… and really not paying attention to teachers while we were Zooming. There has been a definite challenge to get students back into a centered-in learning process,” Belt-Roslieb said.

Belt-Roslieb also brought up that not only is there a challenge in getting students back into the groove of learning, but teachers must rebuild the interpersonal connection students have lost in the past year.

“So here we’ve been apart for 18 months and I don’t want to discourage kids from connecting with each other, but I want to have that balance like, look, you still have to be on task. So again, it’s finding that balance of knowing how important that social-emotional piece is, but we have to get back to school etiquette,” Belt-Roslieb said.

As the school year’s honeymoon phase comes to an end, time can only tell if the pre-pandemic classroom etiquette will be restored.

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