Whether returning to early childhood programs or school for the first time or beginning them for the first time at all may provide additional hurdles for students, especially during times of increased stress. Adults and children feel greater anxiety because of the risk to their lives. This is an experience of communal trauma on a scale that has never been seen before. Children have simultaneously seen a rise in the stress levels of adults and the community as they have lost their routines, structures, and social networks. During this lockdown period, families have lived through various experiences. While some of these experiences may have been relatively positive, others may have experienced bereavement, ill health, elevated stress and anxiety, increased mental health difficulties, domestic abuse, or other forms of abuse.
Importance of Education
For the mental health of youngsters, a child’s level of education is an incredibly significant and protective element. A child’s mental health needs to attend school since the environment fosters important factors, including structure, regularity, social support, and healthy activities. Teachers are crucial figures for children as they serve as role models who set the emotional and behavioural tone for a significant portion of the day for a youngster. Children’s feelings of security are heavily influenced by the signals sent to them by the adults in their environment, both vocally and non-verbally. The teaching staff’s actions shape the school’s sentimental atmosphere and serve as a model for the views and perspectives held by the pupils. Hence, it is crucial for school staff to positively reintegrate students coming back to school.
What parents and teachers can do to support during transitions
Teachers and administrators can:
• Efforts should be made to develop links between the program and the parents. Parents and instructors should have opportunities to socialise and get to know one another at prearranged times.
• Help your children become more aware of what to anticipate by providing them with a daily framework and routines.
• Discuss daily routines with the parents of children returning to school to assist them in preparing their kids for what to anticipate.
• Make sure parents are updated on their children’s progress throughout the program.
• When extra COVID-19 measures are required due to Community Levels or the presence of people at high risk for serious sickness or death, it is a good idea to think about having in-person meetings outside, such as in the playground.
• The provision of virtual connections with parents, such as video chats and phone conversations, as a complement to in-person interactions, is highly recommended. Think about putting parents in touch with one another so they may learn more about the program and talk about their own experiences.
• Programs can also offer virtual tours of the facilities and classrooms so parents and children can see them. They can better prepare for the new circumstances and anticipate what it would be like for their kid to attend school as a result of this.
• Ensure that their kid follows a consistent daily schedule that includes set times for eating nutritious meals, taking naps, and sleeping at home. Children find it easier to deal with adversity when they have had enough rest and know what to anticipate when they return home.
• Make connections with other parents whose children are participating in the same program. These other parents will be able to give them information and help them feel more at ease with the program.
• For students just starting school, talk to the child’s teachers about the best way to say goodbye to them at the beginning of the school day; in most cases, quick farewells are preferable.
• During times of change, parents should make an effort to maintain their composure and reassure their children by speaking in a soothing tone, maintaining a relaxed face and body, and reassuring their children that they would not abandon them if they did not feel secure and cared for.
There are going to be a lot of children who are going to be very excited about going back to school. Still, there are also going to be an equal number of children who are going to be quite anxious about it. Some kids may be eager to leave their homes, while others will be hesitant. Furthermore, although some kids will have spent their time at home engaging in various fascinating learning opportunities, others will have had little to no academic concentration during this time. So, providing a safe and secure environment is important to positively integrate students back into schools.
If you would like to learn about a platform that prioritises safeguarding and positively reintegrating students back into a mainstream setting, then visit EDClass. UK-qualified teachers support students one-to-one through text or video chat with their learning and wellbeing. EDClass works closely with schools and MATs to establish a concrete stream of communication on the progress of students.