How to Reflect on This Quarantine School Year

How to Reflect on This Quarantine School Year

Author’s Note: I wrote this in the spring of 2020, but almost every word applies to 2021 as well. Read on!

This has been the strangest school year of probably any of our lives. In late winter, everything turned upside down. Quarantine kicked in as school buildings closed and learning moved online. Students and teachers had to make radical changes to the ways they teach, interact, and learn. Parents became homeschoolers overnight.

I’ve talked in the past about the importance of reflection for all of us – students, teachers, and parents. And since this year was a doozy, it means even more now. As we grind out the last few weeks of the school year and our memories are fresh, it is important to reflect on this quarantine period in our lives.

Self-reflection can help us in so many ways. We can get a better handle on the actions and routines that make us more successful and those that don’t. You can zero in on the positive relationships in your life and think about how to improve the others. We can all also plan for ways to be better next school year.

To reflect on this unique school year, grab the Reflection Guide I made for you and something to write with! The reflection guide contains bonus questions that aren’t listed below. (Click on the button above.) Let’s start reflecting!

How to Reflect on the End of a Quarantine School Year

So many things have happened in the last few months. So many. Our stress levels have been so high that many of us haven’t processed our emotions about those changes. We also need to consider what changes we want to make going forward. Reflecting on this “quarantine school year” will help you with both of those!


We all lost the spring we thought we would have, from prom to theater performances to sports to graduation. Sadly, we don’t get to say good-bye to the people who used to inhabit our daily school lives. For many of us, that brings sadness. Allow yourself to grieve for what you missed. Your emotions are honest and real. 


While spring milestones looked different, how were they great? What skills have you learned during quarantine? How did your relationship with your family members improve? How did others help you to celebrate your milestones? Yes, you missed prom, but you and your friends had a dope virtual prom. No birthday party for you this year, but family, friends, and neighbors had a car parade for you down your street.

Plan for Next Year

We don’t know what the next school year will look like. We could all be in school, wearing masks. Some could be at home, while others attend in person. Or, worse scenario, we could all be at home again. What about online learning worked for you? What will you need to change before next fall? If you walk into the fall prepared for a different school experience, you will make the transition better.

Bonus! Create a Historical Record

As a history teacher, I want future historians to have a bazillion quarantine journals to read. If you haven’t already, starting journaling your own experiences and thoughts about what’s going on. We are living through a historic moment. Your grandchildren will ask you about this quarantine, so make sure you have something to say!

reflect quarantine

Questions to Reflect on our Quarantine School Year

I recommend answering at least 3 reflection questions, but you can always go for that big gold star and answer more! Write down your answers on a card or piece of paper and keep it in a place you can see it. Come back to it before school starts next fall and see if any of your answers have changed over the summer.

Photo by Alex Samuels on Unsplash


  • Which 3 adjectives best describe the school year for me?
  • What was the best part of learning from home?
  • Based on my performance this year, what is one thing I know I can do better next year? What did I do this year that I want to continue next year?
  • If school is online next year, what changes can I make at home/ in my routines/ in my organization to be more successful?


  • Which 3 adjectives best describe the school year for our family?
  • Where did I put my attention and energy when I felt stressed or overwhelmed? Is this how I want to spend my resources?
  • If school is online next year, what changes can I (realistically) make that will help my children be more successful?


  • Which 3 adjectives best describe the school year for me?
  • How did I support students this year? How can I support more students next year?
  • If I’m teaching online again next year, what is one technology that I want to incorporate?
  • What supports do I need from my administration or colleagues for next school year?
reflect quarantine

Hopefully, these questions will start your self-reflection on this strange, quarantine school year. While we can’t control what next school year will look like, we can control our responses to it. Let’s make those responses be as useful as possible!

What “Aha!” moments did you have during reflection? Let me know in the comments below!

Related Posts: 27 Hopeful Quotes to Give You Strength During Isolation, Why Everyone Should Reflect at the End of the School Year, 11 Life Skills All Teens Need to Know, How to Thank Teachers When Schools are Closed

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