This was not necessarily the situation, learn more about health. When COVID-19 struck, I think it’s safe to say that many of our formerly learned daily routines went outside the window. If you’re like me (and many humans), this probably caused you to feel somewhat anxious… till you could create and settle into new patterns. People are pattern seekers, and patterns can bring order to scenarios that feel chaotic. They can alleviate stress and, when heard, give our brains time and space to think thoughts that are more complex than, say, “How do I leave this Zoom assembly without anyone noticing?”Routines from the ClassroomI would assert that teachers know the ability of routines better than every other group of professionals. In fact, the first few weeks of school are typically devoted to helping pupils learn expectations, processes, and patterns that will help the classroom operate like a well-oiled machine. Whereas course expectations or”principles” are such global, philosophical principles for pupils that talk to school culture and safety, patterns address the specific activities throughout the day that reinforce or encourage the expectations.For instance, one of the classroom expectations in an early childhood classroom might be, “We are safe with our own bodies.” This is the global classroom guideline that is referred to over and over again. So, the patterns that would encourage that expectation throughout the day might include lining up in a safe distance without touching each other or transitioning from Circle time to Centers in an orderly manner.Arguably, much of the day for pupils is spent finishing patterns. Why is this important? Well, along with helping kids stay safe, once pupils learn the routines, their brains can focus on exactly what we REALLY want them to learn, while it’s literacy, mathematics, or how to be a good friend. Pupils who need a great deal of repetition to learn new abilities, like those with disabilities or developmental delays, benefit greatly from classrooms that have predictable, consistent patterns in place. And, patterns help teachers! Once patterns are learned, teachers have to center on teaching!There are some great beginning of the year classroom patterns featured on Pinterest, like this example:This fall, a lot people will be going straight back to brick and mortar teaching and our students will soon be joining us. This will be an adjustment, to say the least, and putting solid patterns in place will help everyone feel less stressed and more secure. Some patterns from our pre-COVID world will remain the same, but some fresh, “COVID” routines will be created to ensure that all pupils are following current safety guidelines to the best of their abilities. Some examples might include lining up in a safe social distance, cleaning up following centers or work time by putting used materials in a”filthy” bin, or pupils sanitizing their hands prior to assessing individualized schedules and transitioning to another place.When thinking about creating fresh”COVID” patterns, start by asking these questions:What are the pre-COVID patterns that will remain the same?Are there any existing patterns that will need to be corrected for safety?Are there any new patterns that I want to include?Who will be implementing the patterns? (Teacher, paraprofessionals, and related service providers?)How does the patterns be educated? (visual supports, prompting, modeling, music?)Are there any students in my course that will need modifications to a regular due to their disabilities? (For instance, a pupil with Autism is functioning on tolerating the feeling of getting wet hands and becomes very anxious when asked to wash his hands.)Are there any alternatives for those students that can get them closer to the safety guidelines?