Ray Bendici of Tech & Learning published helpful tips for preparing to go back to “virtual” school. Bendici summarizes current mental health experiences for school-aged children, such as feeling depressed or feelings of isolation, while taking caution from COVID-19.
The article provides key takeaways from two school psychologists:
Expect a Range of Responses: Children may react to this stressful time period and reentry to school with a number of emotional, behavioral, and performance changes. It’s important to normalize this and look at it through an emotional adjustment lens.
“We Don’t Have the Answers Yet”: It is important to acknowledge that the experience of a pandemic in this time period is a new one and that there are not clear blueprints for addressing how to resume school operations during and after the pandemic.
Stay Nimble: A responsive approach, rather than anticipatory, approach is recommended. Switch “what if this or that happens?” to “How can we adapt to what we know to be true in this moment?”
Mind the Gaps: Bring awareness to students whose needs may be unmet or underserved during COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap between individuals experiencing more privilege and less privilege based on their identities and experiences.
Silver Linings: While being practical, also focus on what is going right and well with the current educational system. Appreciate what has been gained with schedule flexibility, virtual learning, and more time spent at home.