How to Go Back to In-Person Teaching
Step 1: Try on your pants
We are all so used to not only being seen from the torso up that our pants have been nonexistent for the past two months. Most of us have been wearing sweatpants, shorts, and even no pants at all for so long. Showing up to school in your swim trunks or yoga pants I'm pretty sure will be frowned upon.
To prepare for in-person teaching try on your pants. One, to see if they fit and two, to get used to the feel of them. It's important to train yourself to keep your pants buttoned for up to 8 hours because you can no longer turn the camera off. I highly suggest intervals. Each day wear your pants a little bit longer until you can refrain from ripping them off. No one is no longer going to cut you slack if you forget to wear your slacks.
Step 2: Practice muting yourself in real life
The principal isn't going to buy the excuse, "It's ok, Mr. Smith, no one can hear my talking because my mic is on mute.," in a staff meeting. Nor is the administration going to like if they go into your classroom for an observation and you are on the phone with your friend because you claim your "mic is on mute."
Start practicing now by keeping quiet when someone else is talking. Try turning on the TV and watching the news. Do your best to eliminate all background noise. Refrain from talking. I realize this is extremely hard, but try your best to plaster a big smile on your face and nod your head occasionally.
Step 3: Realize your whole body will now be seen
We are all used to slightly adjusting our bodies so we are out of the frame to do our texting or crossword puzzle when we are meant to be listening and pay attentioning.
When we go back to school, we need to realize we can't obscure ourselves to lie our head down or roll our eyes during mind numbing meetings or when a student gives an absurd answer. We can't pick our nose, laugh loudly, swear under our breaths. Everything will be seen like it's 1984.
Step 4: Practice holding your pee
Teachers have gotten used to the luxury of peeing whenever they felt like it. It will be hard to readjust our bodies to no longer being able to use the facilities when the time arises. We can't just turn our cameras and sound off. We will have full classes once again and extra duties which won't allow us to excuse ourselves.
See how long you can hold your pee each day to practice returning to normal. If you get a UTI you have succeeded and passed the test! You are ready!
Step 5: Study your students' faces.
By now we are used to students not showing up for class or turning off their cameras, so we can't see them. You might want to brush up on what they look like before returning to school. I suggest stalking your colleagues' and administration's social media accounts, so you can remember what they look like as well. "Ohh, Ms. Johnson, you aren't an icon of a cat in real life?" "Mr. Ryan, your legs look quite nice. I haven't seen them in awhile." "Mrs. Tyler, your shins and calves look much different than I remembered." It could be quite embarrassing if you turn off for school and you can't put faces to names. Start studying now!