Back to School Fall 2021
It is safe to say back to school this Fall will be one like no other. Many teachers and students have spent the last year learning and teaching from home. To step foot on campus again will feel foreign to many, or completely new for first-time teachers and new students. There is no manual or guide on how to approach going back to school, but we have compiled a list of five (5) tips to make the transition easier for everyone involved.
Back-to-school communication should extend past just asking your child “how was school today”? Communication should be extended to teachers, school staff, and other parents. Teachers and school staff are with your child five days a week, up to eight hours per day. They are a great tool to utilize to find out how your child is doing. Getting in touch with school staff has never been easier with many schools using specific software to be able to send messages easily and instantly back and forth from parent to teacher. When in doubt, just popping in after class lets out for the day to have a quick word with their teacher is a great way to gain insight into your child’s behavior in the classroom. Do not forget to reach out to your child’s friends’ parents. After all, another parent is experiencing the same emotions and concerns as you and you never know when someone could use the support of another parent.
Almost everything is going to be different when going back to school. Students are going to be dealing with social distancing, potential mask-wearing while in class, different procedures when eating lunch, new rules when it comes to playing outside in the yard, and then some. These changes can add new stresses never experienced by a student. Be patient. Put yourself in the shoes of your child. They might start acting out more than before due to the changes but as a parent, keeping emotions in check is paramount to respond appropriately and effectively to your child.
As parents, we want the absolute best for our children. Sometimes it is easy to push our agenda and our wants on our children when they might want something completely different. That is why it is so important to listen to THEIR wants and needs. They are dealing with enough on their plate as is. Showing care and concern and listening to their needs, desires, and stresses can provide a comfort a child might not have known they needed. An added benefit to listening to your child is they are most likely to listen to you. When a child feels like a parent listened to them and understood their feelings and concerns, in turn, they will be more in tune with your feelings and what you have to say.
#4. ROUTINES OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL
Going to school every day is a routine in and of itself. As things return to normal, so are the activities our students participated in outside the classroom. This could include playing team sports, taking art classes, community events, reading a story before bed, or sitting down together with the family for dinner every night. A solid routine can help a child feel safe and secure due to the predictability and organization that it offers. They can also be beneficial to the health and well-being of a child. For example, brushing teeth every morning and night, regular hand washing, and playing outside for exercise. A chore is another great way to implement regularity in a child’s life. This can also provide a sense of accomplishment as well as help a child become more independent all while providing a helping hand to a parent. Life is busy for parents and routines provide a sense of organization and control which helps to make life easier and less chaotic.
#5 BE PREPARED
Be prepared for a school year like no other. Up until recently, it seemed that Covid was in the rearview mirror, but the Delta Variant is proving otherwise. In addition, children under the age of 12 are not eligible for the vaccine. Some students have legitimate concerns and are scared. These feelings can manifest into anxiety as well as mental health issues. Be prepared for your child to experience different emotions. Many of our students have been isolated for the past year and going back to school can trigger emotions never experienced. Issues might not arise at the beginning of the school year; they could happen at any point. The more prepared a parent is, the better a parent can efficiently and appropriately respond to their child’s issue.
We hope everyone has a safe, and healthy start to the 2021 school year. With schools re-opening, the risk of a gun violence situation becomes a threat once again. Protecting Our Students was created to end all K-12 school shootings. Now is the perfect time to schedule a POSSafetyNet℠ assessment. After all, our children are priceless.