Summer is ending, and with that school is about to resume (some of you already started back!) Whether you are going back to school virtually, face to face, or a blended model please, keep a few things in mind. If not for your sanity, for your child's. We are doing what we must and what is best for our own families. Not everyone is going to agree, and let's be serious, no one will have a "perfect" solution. Starting back will be a challenge regardless, and let me tell you why.
During summer breaks, there is usually a "loss" of information. Kids have been learning ALL year, and there is typically a "dip" in what they remember when they come back. The first weeks of school are a lot of refreshers that trigger that knowledge in the back of their minds. Since COVID took us out of our regular school routine A LOT longer than a typical summer "break," we expect students to have a more significant loss of information. Do not stress. Everyone is in the same boat. Hearing from a teacher (who is stressed) that your child is half a year or more behind is going to startle many parents. It's OKAY! Students will feel this stress, and new pressure, and EVERYONE will be working double-time on trying and pushing as much information as possible to help these kids. Here are some things that can help:
- Keep things positive for the kid's sake. Some kids are going to be emotional, stressed, and feel like they aren't smart, which is not accurate. The best thing we can do to help the kids keeps positive, say kind and encouraging words, and offer our help as much as possible. (parents and teachers)
- Remember, students may push back from returning to school face to face. It's going to be a lot different and a lot more strict with social distancing requirements. Feelings may get hurt, and our students NEED their feelings validated. We can't tell someone how to feel about being scared or upset or happy to be back, and it's all a valid response to what's happening in the world. Listen with care and validate those feelings for EVERYONE.
- Flexibility is going to be essential. Flexible schedules, rules, accommodations, and flexibility with work students are being asked to do at home and school. Some may need more support, and some may breeze through the transition. As parents and educators, we need to have a flexible mindset, so we don't get upset quickly and burnout the first few weeks.
I hope everyone has a great year getting back into school for our kiddos. If you are virtual or in person, had a choice, or had no choice on your option, your feelings are important, and so are the kids' feelings. We will get through this together! Keep open communication, voice your concerns, and keep a flexible mindset.