Transitioning Back to the Classroom After COVID
Your child may have already returned to in-person school, either full-time or in a hybrid program that includes remote learning. If so, you may have already encountered issues you weren’t expecting. If your child is getting ready to return to the classroom, here are some ways you can make the transition easier.
Find out the details at your particular school
Staggered schedules, early or late arrival times and dismissal times, rules surrounding what to wear, what safety measures will be in place, and whether or not school gatherings like sporting events will resume, are all topics you need to get familiar with.
Students may be feeling anxious and worried about their safety, so it’s important to be reassuring about the precautions that are being taken. After a long period of isolation, it’s going to take a while for many kids to adjust to being around lots of people again.
Help kids understand what lunch and recess might look and feel like now, along with how to reconnect with other students they haven’t seen in a long time. It’s important to help them reestablish relationships with teachers and faculty, as well as with their peers.
Pay close attention to the signs your child is showing, and don’t dismiss or discount their anxieties and concerns. Encourage them to voice their concerns so you can address them.
Stay informed by monitoring all school communications. Stay connected to your child’s teacher(s) and keep up to date on safety issues, scheduling issues, homework requirements, and changes to school programs.
It’s an unfortunate fact that many students have experienced learning loss during this past school year. Be sure to help your child understand that this is a widespread issue and is nothing to be embarrassed about. The majority of students will benefit from some type of remedial instruction or tutoring to help them get back to the levels they need to achieve academically. Some schools are administering baseline assessments to help teachers prepare for their students’ challenges, and many parents have already incorporated tutoring into their child’s learning plan.
Reinforcing hygiene and safety instructions
Many schools will have hand sanitizer available, hand-washing stations, antiseptic wipes, masks, tissues, and other hygiene supplies. Be sure your child has a personal supply of the hygiene products you use at home so they will feel safe, in case there aren’t sufficient supplies at school. Help them understand that not all students will follow the same guidelines, and they need to feel confident and comfortable about their own hygiene. Help your child cope with different scenarios they might encounter.
Be a good role model
If you are optimistic, calm, and confident, it will be much easier to encourage the same attitudes in your child. If you disagree with the policies at your child’s school, or express concerns, or seem troubled, that’s understandable, but it’s best to keep it to yourself or your child will pick up on that and it can increase their anxiety and worry.
Reestablishing bedtime and mealtime routines is a good way to help children get back in the routine of attending school in person. Many children will have developed some lax habits that will affect their behavior and attention span in the classroom.
Prepare for the unexpected
This is new for all of us. If something happens and plans change, and students are sent back home to resume remote learning, be prepared to make that adjustment. Helping your child understand in advance that plans may change will help them avoid being surprised or unduly worried about another new routine.
If you’re looking for tutoring support for your child, check out our services.