This year, going back to school looks different. Perhaps you are engaging in a hybrid learning plan split between remote and in-person learning. Or maybe you’re slated to live behind a screen for the entire semester.

After your first few weeks back at school, we wanted to offer some tips and tricks from members of our faculty, parent and student communities. We hope this helps you feel more prepared, or just less alone, in this new chapter of education during a global pandemic.

To our teachers out there: thank you for innovating and persevering to help the next generation of learners continue to love learning. To our students: we have no doubt you’re going to rock the boat with what you learn and how you choose to consume it.

From all of us at The Traveling School – Good luck. You’ve got this!


From Teachers:

  • “Be kind to yourself and take one day at a time! And, find funny zoom backgrounds when appropriate.”  –Erin Schaberg, TTS34 and TTS35 Faculty
  • “For my fellow teachers: Use homework to share information, use class time to synthesize and discuss class content, and DO something with the content when you have students on the screen with you. Don’t try to compete with YouTube—you are not just delivering info—you are helping them make sense of that information and think critically about it. Lastly, lesson plan knowing that relationships often make more of an impact than class content!”  –Arden Simone, TTS34 Faculty
  • “Create a workspace that you love and does not involve your bed!  And during virtual classes or individual work time, put all unnecessary devices (smart watches, cell phones, TV remotes…) in another room.”  –Emily Mallory, Board President and TTS12 and TTS13 Faculty
  • “Look into the camera, nod and smile. It’s up to you to break through the barrier, to connect.”  –Erin Hopkins, High School teacher and TTS supporter
  • “Set a daily activity goal for yourself (like doing 20 minutes of yoga!) because it can be easy to sit all day. Also, I love making a daily schedule, TTS white board style of course, to organize my tasks. Also, I suggest you pick just a few resources and stick with them. There are so many ideas out there right now that it can be overwhelming! Pick a couple and don’t get bogged down with more new ideas.”  -Allie Mack, TTS33, TTS34, and TTS35 Faculty


From Students:

  • “Don’t give up!! Fall in love with learning again, no matter how hard it can be sometimes.” –CarolAnn Herring, TTS34
  • “Go on walks. Do whatever you can to stay active on breaks!”  –Jenae McCarroll, TTS2 aluma, TTS16 and TTS19 Faculty, Board member.
  • “Have your favorite candle, photo or piece of art in your workspace. Even when I travel, I bring my favorite mug (a Yeti mug with a TTS sticker) to make it feel like it’s my office. And I always have a notebook for journaling or notes.”  –Mikaela DiBerandinis, TTS6
  • “Find a work partner on Zoom or in person to have the feeling of people working around you.”  –Adelle Welch, TTS33
  • “Find your space and make it your own. Even if it’s just a corner of a room or guest bedroom, create your own personal workplace. Include some plants (real or fake) to add some spice to your area! Recognize that there will be new challenges with virtual learning. Some subjects that may have been previously easy may become more difficult. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help from your teachers, older students and other students.”  –Isabel Estes, TTS35


From Parents:

  • “For younger students (K-5), balance screen time with outside play, quiet reflective work (reading, drawing, puzzles…) or kinetic activities that DO NOT involve a screen! Creating a daily schedule (better yet, involving your child in the process) can help organize the day and provide a visual check list to make sure you have an even distribution of activities (screen time, outdoor play, reading, math, etc.)” –Kaitlin Bear, mom of 2 and Traveling School office staff member
  • “Brain breaks. Set mini goals and give yourself breaks to get outside, breathe fresh air, move your body and stare at things other than a screen. And find creative ways to maintain community. Stay connected to peers in whatever way you can!” –Dalton McCurdy, mom of 3 and Traveling School supporter.