A Tournament of Teachers: What We DO Miss About Pre-COVID Teaching

Last year’s big college basketball tournament shut down unexpectedly thanks to COVID-19. Little did we know that this was just the first of many changes coming to our world—and education in particular. A year later, case numbers are trending downward, vaccines are making their way around the world, and college basketball is back on—all hopeful signs that we’re on the road to recovery.

To celebrate, Advancement Courses is hosting our own bracket challenge! But instead of basketball games, we’re doing a face-off between all the things teachers miss (or don’t miss) about teaching pre-COVID-19.

From March 12 to 21, you can submit your own bracket predicting the winners. Then, from March 22 to 31, you can vote on the items you think should advance to the next round.

Winners of the bracket challenge will be announced on April 1. Here’s what you could win:

1st Place: $1,000 Amazon gift card

2nd Place: $500 Amazon gift card

3rd Place: $100 Amazon gift card (5 entrants will win this prize)

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on the bracket competition and how to enter!

Here’s what we DO miss about teaching pre-COVID:

1. When hybrid learning wasn’t required

Remember the days when you only had to prepare one lesson for the one group of students sitting in one classroom? Yeah, that was nice.

2. Not having to rely on technology

Good thing your education degree had courses on Zoom, Google Classroom, webcams, and microphones. Oh, it didn’t? No wonder this year’s been so hard!

3. Having a consistent class roster

Olivia moved out of state? Mason’s doing homeschooling now? Jayden is quarantining for the next two weeks? Taking attendance has never been more of a head-scratcher than it is now.

4. Knowing what your school year would be like

Even if you aren’t the type to fill out your entire Erin Condren planner before August, it was at least nice to know if you’d be teaching in your classroom or on a computer (or both) next week.

5. Eating lunch with your teacher bestie

It might’ve only been 10 minutes, but man, there’s no measuring the mental health benefits of a 10-minute vent sesh.

6. Not having students eat lunch in your classroom

Listen, you love your students. But every other adult in the country gets a lunch break away from their workspace. Why not you?

7. Taking students on field trips

You never thought you’d long for the days of hounding students to turn in permission slips. But it sure would be nice to be able to have a learning experience beyond your six-foot socially distanced teaching bubble.

8. Hosting classroom parties

Yeah, classroom parties never live up to your Pinterest-fueled dreams, but darn if you don’t miss a chance to celebrate and play games with your students.

9. Greeting students at the door in the morning

A webcam can never quite replace seeing your students’ smiles and feeling their energy as you start the day together.

10. Experiencing those “aha” moments in the classroom

As teachers, we live for these moments, and the hope of experiencing them again will carry us through any pandemic.

11. Planning group activities

Ah, group activities. They require only a fraction of the supplies (not to mention the grading time), but all that SEL goodness will have to wait until we can get back to just sharing ideas—not viral loads.

12. Working with students one-on-one in-person

Fitting in one-on-one time always took careful planning and intention, but it was oh-so-worth-it to be able to connect personally with your students.

13. Letting students share supplies

Maia forgot her pencil? No problem. She can use Jackson’s extra one just as soon as the hazmat team’s done with it.

14. Planning fun seating charts

All that effort you put into perfecting the art of seating charts is now gathering dust alongside your knowledge of how to operate a landline and how to do the Macarena.

15. When hand sanitizer was an option

COVID reminded us once and for all why personal hygiene is so important. But it’d be nice if you didn’t have to dive for the hand sanitizer every time you touch a doorknob.

16. Not having to wear PPE

Masking + breathing = inconvenient. Masking + breathing + leading a class for eight hours a day? Forget about it.

So what do you think teachers miss most about pre-COVID teaching? Submit your predictions today for a chance to win. And don’t forget to check out the competitors for what teachers DON’T miss.

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