Adults aren’t the only ones that have had their lives turned upside down since the pandemic started. Children also experienced a disruption in everyday routines, social isolation, and emotional overwhelm as they live through the chaos they cannot control. Depending on the child’s physical and mental capabilities, socioeconomic status, and home life, the struggles of living through a pandemic were significantly increased.
As administrators, educators, faculty, and parents look ahead to a hopeful 2021-2022 school year with full-time in-person classes, they must clearly understand what each student needs to adjust and succeed. Although school may be in session, you cannot expect children to bounce back to “business as usual.” Students will have difficulty adapting without the necessary components to address and resolve their educational, emotional, and personal challenges. Continue reading for more on what those components are.
A Healthy Home Life
What happens in the home has a significant impact on a child’s psychological and educational experiences. Although current times evoke negative emotions and create obstacles that can make life difficult for families, no one should remain in this state of being.
Parents, guardians, and extended family members are encouraged to create a positive home environment for kids. Developing routines, creating a comfortable space for open communication, finding ways to make life enjoyable, and being a positive role model are necessary strategies.
If you’re not quite there yet, find a way to get there. Rely on relatives, religious leaders, community sources, government programs, and even psychology experts to help you get yourself and your family where you need to be.
A Safe And Healthy School
Before reconvening traditional instruction, schools must provide a safe and healthy facility for students. No matter what age group, children are aware of what the coronavirus is and how it has affected millions of lives. Although it will take time for these inner fears to subside, school administrators can expedite this process.
Ensure that the facilities are cleaned and sanitized correctly, develop a new cleaning schedule, enforce policies and procedures for faculty, and provide students with PPE and fact-based education on keeping themselves and others safe. These suggestions help to give a sense of security for anxious children as they return to school.
Keeping schools clean and providing students with PPE helps reduce the coronavirus’s physical threats, but it doesn’t resolve the emotional effects. Seemingly overnight, most students were thrust into a world and life that was different from anything they had ever experienced.
There was a lot to go through, from keeping up with their studies and grades to coping with social isolation. Not to mention, some students saw their family dynamics change, lost someone close to them, went without necessities, and took on roles of babysitter and provider. If children are going to return to school in the fall and be effective learners, principals, teachers, and support staff must be prepared to help them address and resolve their emotional struggles.
Administrators might look into training for teachers to support students who are having a hard time properly. They should also ensure that they employ mental health experts that have an EdS in School Psychology and the creativity to develop tools, programs, and resources that students and their families can use to deal with emotional problems. They need specialists trained in child psychology to provide students with the professional help they can turn to when needed.
The day when students return to the classroom full-time will be here soon. Though there’s nothing anyone can do to erase the pandemic and the effects it has had on children, you can help them cope. If there’s any chance of students moving past these chaotic times and excelling academically, administrators, teachers, and parents must identify and resolve common issues. By giving children a healthy home, safe school, and emotional support, they can learn how to adjust to the times, overcome physical and emotional barriers, and succeed.