2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. For teachers it has been especially difficult, not only have they had to learn to work in different ways while keeping children safe, they have also had to keep up with changing government guidelines. This has been an unsettling time for both educators and students alike. But with the first UK vaccine being distributed in December, a change is on the horizon. Nevertheless, new ways of working have already arrived at schools and teachers have had to work fast to keep abreast of these developments. What will teachers face in 2021?
Technology in the classroom will continue to be a game changer. “Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, many educational institutions have been running classes in a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)” and this is likely to continue to a certain extent in the first few months of this year.
In a recent article on educational trends, 9 out of 10 UK educators agreed that conventional teaching methods will continue to be augmented by tech. The increased use of technology in the classroom and at home does bring in the issue of digital poverty. There is undoubtedly a social gap when it comes to equitable access and that must be acknowledged as we head into 2021. In a recent BBC article, co-head teacher Matt Morden, of Surrey Square primary school, in south London stated, "If families are struggling, the priority is going to be food, not data". This is unlikely to be easily resolved with the recent government announcement that schools will receive fewer laptops for distance learning.
Keeping children engaged has been especially challenging with distance learning, meeting the needs of the individual learner has been difficult to ensure this year. Therefore,- the move towards multi-faceted teaching will continue with lessons adapted to incorporate visual, auditory or kinaesthetic approaches.
Unsurprisingly 2020 has seen a rise in mental health issues and with the continued stresses on both students and teachers there will be a sustained focus on mental health in schools. In fact, student wellbeing will be a top priority for many schools in 2021. Data from NASUWT reveals that “41% of primary school teachers have spotted mental health difficulties in children aged 4-11”. This alarming trend is one that has undoubtedly been exacerbated by the continued lockdowns.
Regardless of what 2021 throws at our educational professionals, Vision Teaching will be here to support. Contact us today if you have any queries whether it’s about your next role or support for your school.