Going back to school in the “new normal” is certainly very different from what we’re all used to. Social distance, masks, clean hands are the mandatory things that everyone has to respect in any public setting where a large number of people gather, and schools are no different. This is why it’s important to ensure a safe learning environment for both students and teachers.
That being said, if you’re responsible for an educational facility that is getting ready for welcoming students, besides making sure you have everything needed to create a modern classroom, you should also obtain additional school supplies to make the place safe, clean and fun for learning.
And although school supplies have stayed the same (crayons, sharpies, notebooks and so on), you can now find many things that will ease the whole “new normal” learning experience. Besides the basic accessories, at a well-stocked kids school supplies store, you can now also find all the things that are suitable for keeping everyone safe.
So far, we have all got used to the fact that we must wash our hands properly. However, when there isn’t soap and running water always available or when people are in a hurry, a hand sanitiser will do as well. It’s a good idea for every student to have their own hand sanitiser and to develop a habit to use it frequently.
Besides the kids having their own sanitiser, the classroom should have a large container with spare bottles as well. The teacher should remind the children to use it often. Young students may still not grasp the idea of the virus or the importance of having clean hands, so this is a good way for them to learn that it can easily be spread if our hands aren’t clean. Kids repeat the actions of adults, so the teacher should use the hand sanitiser often as well, to provide a good example.
Just a year ago, we all dreaded the idea of wearing masks. And while some people still refuse to put them on, most of the world has developed a habit to wear one. The face mask is the best thing that can protect us from COVID-19 (in addition to keeping distance). So, children haven’t been wearing masks that often by far, now when they are back to school, some facilities require them to wear one. What’s more, some parents and children feel safer knowing that the kids are wearing masks.
It’s smart to have masks around a learning facility so that children who may feel unsafe or under the weather can have the option to put one on. Be sure to get a good number of masks for each classroom just in case (including a box where they can store them to keep them clean). To make things clearer, mark the mask with each child’s name on it and make sure to put labels on the mas to mark back and front parts.
Children don’t get the concept of keeping distance. They will forget about it after a while and will start playing, getting close to each other. Constantly repeating that they should keep at least 2 meters of distance may be confusing since young children have no idea exactly how much are two metres.
To ease things up for yourself as a teacher and to make things clear and fun for them you can use distance marks. You can find these in various colours in almost all kids school supplies stores. They often come in a package of tens of marks, depending on the size of the class, and have a diameter of 10cm. The ones with a velcro bottom part can be attached to any short-weave carpet. If the facility has hardwood or vinyl floors or tiles, you should pick marks that have adhesive on them. This is a great way to create sitting positions when you all sit on the floor for a storytime.
A White Board for Home Learning
Whether it’s a pandemic or not, the whiteboard is a mainstay for every classroom. And for parents that want to maintain the school vibe even when their kids are remote learning, getting a whiteboard is a smart idea. Sure, paper can also be used for keeping notes, but a whiteboard can make the whole process a lot more amusing and interesting (it would be a mini version of the whiteboard they have in their classroom).
A Calendar for Schedules
The “new normal” learning is a challenge for all, including, teachers, parents and kids. The schedules might be one of the biggest challenges. Scheduling classes (especially if the kids have both online and in-person classes) can be confusing. Getting a calendar to keep the schedules clear is a great way to keep things organised. You can use the Google Calendar because it’s simple and can be synced with your Gmail. However, you can also get physical calendars to stay on top of things the traditional way if you’re sick from constantly doing things on the computer.