Teaching in the time of COVID-19 requires even more patience and dedication than usual. We need to be compassionate, work in multiple modalities, and be flexible in ways that were competely foreign to us at this time last year. While we have the experience of at least one semester in this multi-modal approach, it’s still weird and difficult.
We will be working on-campus / online / in a hybrid format with students scattered around the globe in time zones with different needs and capacities. There will still not be free form access to the labs and shops, we will have to work in ways that are safe, and not necessarily in-line with how we are accustomed to handling our classes. That said, we will make the best of this, and I know you will do exceptionally well.
To get a handle on how students are planning to participate in your classroom this semester, it is strongly encouraged to send a poll ASAP to them to get a sense of who will be around, who will be asynchronous, and what sort of difficulties they may encounter. Here is a template for a form you could use for your courses