Anybody else worried about the school year 2020-2021? If you are like most parents and educational staff, you are definitely worried about the toll that this school year has had on students, our kids.
The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” — Peggy O’Mara,
The Unprecedented School Year
Story after story on the news, there seems to be an endless array of emotions and concern about our youth and the school year that was. Parents are worried about their child falling behind and are imploring school boards and districts to allow their child to repeat the year. Parents feel their child is not emotionally nor academically ready for the upcoming school year. Parents are deeply concerned about their child’s reading skills and their child’s ability to keep up with the rest of their peers during the upcoming school year.
Mental Health Of Our Youth
Others are concerned about the mental health of our youth. No other time in recent history has the school year been so disruptive. Learning in person one day and then in quarantine the next or even as a whole group, having to shift to online learning for weeks on end. Learning at school in person is far from normal either. Students are wearing masks, only allowed to stay within their cohorts and instructed to follow health protocols which keep them physically safe, but are simultaneously causing anxiety in our youth because they are confused about this “new normal.” The social aspect of school is missed even by those who are attending school in person. Students are not able to socialize with anyone outside of their cohort and physical education at school is scaled down or conducted differently for obvious reasons to us as adults, but for our youth, it feels like the world is literally coming to an end. School is considered by most to be a safe place, a predictable and positive environment where students not only learn academically but also develop their social skills and friendships that are so fundamental to their emotional well being. Yet, students are reported as feeling so alone despite being surrounded by so many of their peers.
Learning Online At Home
Then we have students who are learning online at home. Some are able to learn quite well and are actually thriving in this new learning environment. Others struggle to keep focused and engaged in their online studies and still, there are others who don’t have the technology skills or technology itself to be successful in an online learning environment. Parents are trying to juggle supporting their kids and performing their duties as an employee, if they are actually one of the few who are even able to work from home. Parents are feeling overwhelmed trying to divide their time between their new role as an educational support staff member and also being productive at their own paid occupations. Kids are also very astute-they are able to sense that the grown-up in the house is feeling anxious and so do they after awhile. The student might already be feeling overwhelmed themselves by learning in such a new way. Then seeing their own parent(s) being overwhelmed as well can definitely make kids feel that their world is spinning out of control.
No time in recent history has the mental well being of our youth been so tested and taxed. It is paramount and of utmost concern for us to support our kids to keep them motivated, feeling positive and above all else, feeling that they will be ok.
“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” – Anonymous
What was your child’s experience during this unprecedented school year? Feel free to comment below and get this important conversation going.
Please note that the content provided is for informational purposes only. This information is not advice and should not be treated as professional advice. You must not rely on the information in this blog as an alternative to advice from your medical professional or healthcare provider.
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Please note that the content provided is for informational purposes only.