The coronavirus pandemic has changed everyone’s lives and kids going to schools and colleges are no exception. As COVID-19 keeps spreading rapidly, many schools are starting online classes.
The school system is adapting to the new change and going with the flow. What else can they do? We cannot shut down schools for a whole year until we have a vaccine for the coronavirus, right?
And so, many schools have already begun online classes and schooling. But it has not been easy for the students and teachers. For students, it has been challenging learning online.
Many miss their friends and interacting live with teachers and schoolmates. Children also struggle to stay focused as the online assignments are not as challenging as they were in school.
Not all schools teach about social and emotional learning while others do.
While Green didn’t receive much mental and emotional support from other teachers. Some teachers, like Maya Green’s creative writing teacher, have conversations about the emotional needs of children.
Many parents report that they worry about their kids’ mental and emotional health. Many parents report that kids miss their friends, want to get out of the house, and some have developed erratic sleeping habits as well.
The situation is even more intense for children who have sick or dying family members during the pandemic.
Many parents also report that their children are facing mental and emotional harm due to social distancing and schools not working. It only makes sense because humans are social animals and to top that children learn the most in interactive and creative environments.
Online classes may serve the purpose for the time being, but it comes with its challenges like lack of in-person interaction between students, teachers and the whole school environment.
Teachers make efforts to meet children’s needs
Parents report that children don’t feel like waking up and going for another zoom class in the morning. An online class is less a motivation for children than going to school every day was.
Kids are not adapting well to online classes. And so, teachers are making extra efforts to make sure that they can meet the children’s’ emotional and mental needs.
The pandemic may bring up fears and uncertainty. Philadelphia Public School is sponsoring a free mental hotline to provide grief and trauma support to help people through the trauma of the pandemic.
One of the most prominent challenges teachers face is that they do not have the full intel on how to teach virtually without having met some of the students.
Meanwhile, a charter school network in Texas plans to start each morning with social and emotional learning sessions for 45 minutes.
Oakland Unified School District in California plans to have teachers greet students individually and practice a social skill through virtual interaction. The goal of this facilitation to hear the students talk, help students express themselves and interact with teachers and other students.
Parents can also help their children by making sure the kids follow appropriate timings for sleeping, exercising, studying and eating. Parents also need to talk to their children instead of spending too much time on digital screens.
What children need is to be heard and seen. And more so during this challenging pandemic when they might be confused and scared. Parents can ask children how they are doing and check in with them.
Caring for the teachers
While teachers are doing everything they can to provide the right of mental, emotional and educational support to the kids, they too need to be cared for and need support.
Schlund, of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, said adults first need that kind support before they can provide it to the young ones.
Before talking about school matters, staff members are also meeting online and sharing about their emotions, feelings and pandemic experiences to be able to better help their students. (1)
Nitu loves diving into the topics of health and wholeness. His interest and passion of learning as much as he can about health and understanding the various emotional and socio-economic factors that affect health is inspirational. Along with being a health enthusiast, Nitumoni is also an excellent writer in the field of health and wellness.