As grownups, we fluctuate in our requirements and our responses to adversity. Nothing changes for kids. Some students may have handled the restrictions and school cancellations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic with grace and dignity. Change and uncertainty can be difficult to deal with for those who aren’t used to them. Some kids will go back to class feeling overwhelmed by emotions like worry, sadness, or loneliness. There’s a chance that some people have encountered a rise in domestic violence.
When schools are closed for a prolonged period, the teachers and staff at those schools play a crucial role in helping students readjust to studying in a traditional classroom setting. When classes resume, these strategies may be useful in addition to the ones teachers have been doing to keep their pupils safe, healthy, and learning while schools have been closed.
1. Prioritize the needs of children by actively listening to their worries
Many children and adolescents’ mental health and well-being were damaged by COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdown of schools. Educators must show compassion and understanding for their pupils’ problems. Give your pupils the chance to talk to you one-on-one to catch up and address any issues that may have developed while their absence from school. Please use the established procedures for child protection if a kid discloses information that causes serious concern.
2. Make sure to check up on the kids’ progress
Teachers and staff members should evaluate pupils’ progress in previous subjects before moving on to new material. Keep in mind that it may take some kids some extra time or effort to get back into the swing of things academically. Allow them to take pauses, get some exercise, and reconnect with their classmates.
3. Educate young people properly about the COVID-19
When students get back to class, they might be thinking and asking new questions about COVID-19. Young people are interested in and in need of accurate information. Respond appropriately to kids’ inquiries about COVID-19 by consulting age-appropriate and kid-friendly resources backed by scientific evidence that is readily available in your country or region.
While it’s crucial to put things in context and recognize the magnitude of the global crisis, it’s also crucial to highlight the school reopening plans’ many safeguards. Be sure to review with the kids the school’s safety procedures, including what to do if a COVID-19 case is found in the classroom.
4. Have the kids help you design a warm and inviting space for learning.
Facilitate a warm, secure, and enjoyable classroom environment by having students take part in its creation. Be mindful of and make use of the school’s safety protocols and resources while doing so.
Children can offer ideas, assist in making the classroom more inviting through the use of brightly colored posters and messaging, and work in cooperative groups to help each other catch up on missed material. Encourage them to remember that sticking together will get them through this. Don’t forget to acknowledge children’s efforts and accomplishments. Teachers can assist students to feel more at ease by engaging in positive connections with them and establishing consistent routines throughout the school day.
5. Be on the lookout for signals that a child’s behavior is interfering with his or her ability to engage in healthy exploration, play, and learning.
Pay close attention to any changes in the way your children behave. Behavioral changes that prevent a student from participating in school or extracurricular activities should be addressed according to established procedures, and the kid should be referred for additional help if necessary. If a teacher notices a child is having difficulty, they have several resources at their disposal to help. If you believe a child requires specialized assistance, however, you should reach out for more help and have them referred to child protection agencies, primary care physicians, or mental health professionals.
If a youngster is having difficulty learning or focusing, it is important to keep providing them with the necessary learning support and guidance, and this may mean slowing down the pace or offering them more assistance.
6, foster student-to-student communication by facilitating recreational activities.
The use of playgrounds and other public spaces for children to play and interact with one another has been restricted in many nations due to the implementation of strict physical distance standards. For the sake of the children’s social and emotional development and by school safety policies, please ensure that they are given ample time to play and engage with their classmates upon their return.
7. Set an example of composure, openness, and concern for your kids by doing the same things.
Teachers have the potential to serve as admirable examples for their students. How you manage stress daily will serve as an example to your children. Keep your cool, be truthful and kind, and project an upbeat demeanor among kids.
8. Recognize your limitations and practice self-care
Stress levels in the classroom are high at all times, but more so today. Always prioritize your safety and well-being, both physically and emotionally (e.g. maintain healthy eating and sleeping habits, rest, exercise, and connect with friends, family, and colleagues). If you’re feeling particularly down, it’s important to remember to reach out for help.