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Whether your Easter holiday dragged or whether it disappeared in a flash, here we all are, approaching the summer term in a way we’ve never experienced it before.

The good news is, everyone; teachers, pupils and parents alike, are all in the same boat. This is new for us all but together we can navigate all the challenges and triumphs coming our way.  So as we look forward to a new term, here are some ways we can prepare for our return to remote learning.

Reflect and review

We all had the benefit of a week of online learning before the Easter break which provided a good opportunity to see how it works. Now is the time to reflect and review what worked and what you found more challenging. Were you in the right location? Would it have been better to get up and walk around between classes? Think through the practicalities like having space for your device and any resources you need. Make sure you have drinking water on hand. Be close to power if possible and have all the charging cables you need to hand. Taking the time to consider how you can maximise on what worked and address some of the challenges, will set you up for a running start to the coming summer term.

Address and accept

Once you have reflected on the above, you’ll notice there are some things you can change, and others you have no control over. Perhaps the background noise was distracting; could you use headphones? On the other hand, perhaps the only place the wifi is strong is in an awkward location. That’s ok. We can’t fix everything. So, make the adjustments you can, then make peace with the rest. Let go of frustrations and focus on what you can make the most of.

Reset your body clock

As a Housemistress, I see lots of girls returning to school at the start of a new term having lost all control of their body clock. Late nights followed by even later mornings leave everyone a bit discombobulated when it comes to getting back into school. But without the benefit of being launched into the familiar place and routine of school to jump start us into a working routine, we will need to be more prepared than usual. Consider setting an alarm clock slightly earlier day by day to bring you gently back to something that looks like a working day. This will prevent the first day of term being a motivational struggle.

Re-connect

Reach out to people in your form, your boarding house and department. You may have been chatting away to friends online over the holidays but there’ll be others who you haven't spoken to in a while. Reach out and see how they’re doing. Ask them about their Easter break. Ask them how they’re feeling about the coming term of distance learning and share your own thoughts and feelings. Who is least likely to have had lots of social contact over the holidays? Reach out to those people and say hi. Not only will this reassure you that others are likely feeling the same way as you but it also creates a ripple of kindness throughout the school community, offering those who might be worried about reconnecting a chance to ease into it before the first form time.

Look forward to it

There might be things which you’re worried about at the moment, and that’s ok. It’s normal to feel distracted at a time like this. In order to return your focus to work, try to think of three things which you’re looking forward to. Our thoughts impact on our feelings which influence our behaviours. By training your brain to focus on the positive, you’re giving it a fighting chance to be able to concentrate and enjoy the learning on offer in the term to come.

Take some time over the coming days to consider how you can best set yourself up for a successful summer term. You could use the ‘Review, Reset, Reframe’ sheet to help with your reflections.