The road back to school has become tricky and even treacherous during the pandemic, with ambiguity clouding many of the decisions made by departments of education across the country. As remote learning blends with in-classroom education, parents and teachers — as well as students — may find it difficult to navigate the new terrain as schools re-open in 2020.
According to Spectrum News NY1, top New York-based developmental psychologist and education expert Dr. Rebecca Mannis, PhD, outlined steps that can help smooth the journey. “It’s important that all parties navigating back to school understand feelings of uneasiness are natural,” she said. She suggested that parents ensure their children get appropriate rest and exercise and keep a list of stress management techniques handy.
Mannis recommended that parents keep their children’s work spaces separate from relaxation areas and to set up “predictable routines.”
Teachers should find ways to effectively communicate individually with students and parents, even if they are in remote settings, she said, according to Spectrum News.
“Teachers should identify skills that are most essential for students, and regularly check in with them and their parents,” said Mannis. They should also take care of themselves, so they are better able to take care of their students, she added.
Mannis said that focusing in on solutions, rather than problems, helps put a positive slant to the back-to-school challenge, she told Newsmax.
According to Laura-Anne Cleveland, a nursing officer at HCA Healthcare, parents should reinforce COVID-19 protection practices slowly but consistently.
“As with any new habit, we recommend starting small,” she told HCA Today. “By starting in increments, you can see how they are tolerating it and build up accordingly.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics published guidelines for school re-entry that includes advice for all school districts on how to promote the well-being of all children and to ensure that necessary precautions are taken to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has great tips for parents on talking with children about COVID-19.
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