Skip to content ↓

April 2022 - Year 24 - Issue 2

ISSN 1755-9715

Teaching in the New Normal – Challenges and New Opportunities

Mojca Ketiš is a teacher at Osnovna šola Benedikt, a primary school in Slovenia. She is interested in travelling, reading and spending time with family. Current professional interests are exploring new approaches in teaching, including technology. She enjoys working with children in primary school. E-mail:



The COVID-19 pandemic requires teachers to work from home and switch to distance teaching and students to distance learning. This requires a quick shift in teaching materials and style. This really is a challenge. I am writing about what has changed and what opportunities arise from this.


Teaching before and what has changed

I have been teaching English since 2003. I am a teacher at a medium sized primary school in the country. The job has been full of surprises and challenges. It also included stress. We had problems with students, sometimes with parents. Things were far from ideal. As I now look back, we still knew what we were doing, we had our routines. But everything changed almost overnight in March 2020 when Covid 19 reached our country too. What seemed impossible before, started happening. Our school went to distance learning and stayed closed for more than two months. The story repeated in autumn 2020 when it closed again and reopened in February 2021. However, the school year 2021/2022 is different, it is still different and difficult. There was no school closure this year, but individual classes (or even students) go to quarantine and are schooled online. In between that mess there are students, teachers and parents trying to do their best.


Teaching now

So, what has changed since 2020? Almost everything. The way we teach and the way children learn have changed so dramatically that it is sometimes hard to comprehend. We are still not back to normal. Luckily, as I write this, things are getting back to normal. But we never know when it might strike again.

At the moment we are focused on so many other things than teaching. It is still obligatory to wear face masks, teacher and students. Even children need to be tested for Covid 19 regularly. When we started with online teaching in March 2020, we were not prepared for it. We were lost in many ways. We could not imagine it. Now the perspective is different. We can do it, we have learned many new things along the way. This that not mean that it is easy.

At first, we had many problems. Children were not used to be schooled online. Some of them did not have the necessary skills or equipment. Some had problems with technical equipment, others with internet connection. Some are children that had problems with learning before, some are children with special needs or too young to do it by themselves. We had quite a few unresponsive children at the beginning. We teachers also had to learn new things. Suddenly the old way was not enough. At our school we used Moodle classroom and Zoom. We put all the material online, meaning all the instructions, video examples and more. We started using new sites that really helped us.

Useful sites that I still use: Liveworsheets, Quizziz, Kahoot, Youtube and Worldwall. They help me create quality digital material. I am lucky to teach English because a lot is already available online and ready to use. We also use coursebooks that are digitalized and have ready to use online materials.

What was the biggest challenge? The beginning was the most difficult. We were thrown in the deep ocean and had to swim to the surface and survive. I teach at a primary school and our students are quite young, 6 to 15. As I was at home, also my children were at home and had to do their school online. When it started, they were 7 and 11 and needed help with their work. We had to be very organized to manage everything and still get some free time in the afternoon.

Relationships are also very important at school: teacher – student, student – student realtionships, collaborative learning, pair and group work. All of this was more difficult during distance learning. Of course, collaboration is possible through Zoom or some other tools, but there is no genuine contact that can happen live in the classroom.

When I talk to my students about these times, they are confused. They like to be at home, but not everyone. They find it less serious and difficult when they are at home. But also they see that it is not always good for them. They miss school, they miss each other.

What I see as an opportunity to grow as a teacher? However different online teaching was, it was a refreshment in a way. I have learned so much. Also, with a new way we are preparing for the future that will obviously be different. Teaching is a profession where you need to constantly learn, adapt, search for new ideas, learn new things, be open to things you do not know yet.



Will we ever be back to the old normal? I do not think so. So, we must do our best to think and act in a New way. We need to use what we have learned so far and be open to new challenges. The New way is not only bad.

What will the future bring us? We do not know. Are we ready? Let us hope so.


Please check the Pilgrims f2f courses at Pilgrims website.

Please check the Pilgrims online courses at Pilgrims website

Tagged  Voices 
  • Strategic Competence and Why We Don’t Love It As Much As We Should
    Steve Hirschhorn, UK

  • Where Are We? Who Are We? Why…? Changing Realities
    Susan Holden, Scotland, UK

  • Staying Positive in Difficult Circumstances
    Marjorie Rosenberg, Austria

  • Teaching in the New Normal – Challenges and New Opportunities
    Mojca Ketiš, Slovenia

  • So What Do You Do Then?
    Steve Hirschhorn, UK