When the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, teachers found they missed a LOT about the typical school day. Here are some of the things teachers say they are thrilled to experience again as their schools reopen.
The Daily Routine
TikTok user @iammistermba was so happy to return to school in March 2021 that he created a video using Taylor Swift songs to express his feelings. He starts with by celebrating the end of online learning while closing a laptop to the tune of “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” The video uses a string of other Taylor Swift songs suitable to the first day back teaching in the classroom to shushing students who are being too loud.
Seeing Students Smile
Sure, students smiled sometimes during online learning, but it just wasn’t the same as seeing a beaming kids play with friends on the school playground. This elementary special education teacher was thrilled to see her students’ faces when they were able to play face mask-free outside during recess.
Today, after a year and a half, my students were finally able to 1) utilize the play structure and 2) take off masks while outside.
It honestly made me misty-eyed seeing how excited they were…and seeing their whole faces for more than a moment or two. #teachertwitter
— Ms. Cassie (@speducator_life) June 30, 2021
Meeting Students Face to Face
In some places where schools reopened in the spring, teachers were glad to be in the same room with their students for the first time before they advanced to the next grade. At Sanchez Middle School in El Paso, Texas, Lexana Alfaro was thrilled to meet her 8th grade students before they moved up to high school.
I absolutely love having our kids back! So glad I at least got to meet some in person before they head to high school. pic.twitter.com/V7NLs7W76w
— Lexana Alfaro, M.Ed (@LAlfaro_SSMS) June 8, 2021
Student Hugs and High-Fives
Anne Lefebvre wrote about all the things she missed about pre-pandemic teaching for Bored Teachers. Close contact with students—fist bumps, high-fives, and handshakes—topped the list. “Above all, I miss answering ‘Yes, of course!’ to the question, “Can I have a hug?” Lefebvre wrote.
Hands-On Teaching Tools
While teaching from home, many teachers found that they missed school equipment like the copy machine or laminator. This teacher can’t wait to get back to the classroom in fall 2021, and to teach using math manipulatives again.
Looking back at old pictures today is giving me “classroom fever”. I am really missing being in a physical school, playing face to face, using math manipulatives.. ??
— ?????? (@missmullin17) June 3, 2021
Electronic Whiteboards and Classroom Helpers
We bet this isn’t the only teacher who missed teaching with a smart board while schools were closed, just as much as she missed “that one kid that practically runs class for me.”
what I miss about school:
my classroom & smart board
my kiddos (most of them)
that one kid that practically runs class for me
socializing w/ teachers
the copier & laminator
what I don’t miss:
waking up at 6am
15 min lunch break
— classy teacher ?? (@classyteachr) May 26, 2020
As teachers and students return to the school building, some teachers are realizing how much they missed the sounds of kids laughing in hallways or even the beep of the school copy machine. This teacher on TikTok shared a video of teacher ASMR that included the sounds of flipping pages of stapled homework assignments and reshelving classroom books.
Kids Being Kids
This teacher missed the funny things her students did in class, like Kobe Bryan impressions and the hearing the never-ending question: when’s recess?
Time With Teachers
Many teachers missed the company of other teachers and have been glad to get back to lunches in the staff room and conversations between classes. In a humorous TikTok, Jay Salazar talked about missing the long line of teachers making a last-minute coffee run before homeroom begins, even if teachers shared spoilers for TV shows.
Everything, Even Lunch Duty!
Early in the pandemic, We Are Teachers asked for teachers to tweet about what they missed most about school. The wide-ranging responses included hearing students tell jokes, the sound of the bell ringing, and even doing lunch duty. You can read about responses here or check out the original Twitter thread.
#TEACHERS: What’s one thing you miss about school that you thought you’d NEVER ever miss?
— WeAreTeachers (@WeAreTeachers) April 2, 2020