Navigating Going Back to School Post-COVID

Navigating Going Back to School Post-COVID

As the leaves begin to change color and cooler temps descend upon us, kids across the country are heading back to school. This year, many will feel excited yet apprehensive at the same time.

Covid was a stressful time for everyone and kids were hit particularly hard with the lockdowns. While most students are looking forward to seeing their friends and enjoying more social interaction, many will feel nervous and reluctant about returning to in-person classes.

Here are some ways parents can help their kids navigate going back to school post-Covid:

It’s Okay to Not be Okay

Encourage your child to speak openly and honestly with you and their teachers about how they are feeling. Let them know it’s okay to ask for help, whether that’s help navigating a new building, help with schoolwork, or help with processing their emotions.

Help Your Child Set Small Goals

It will be hard for many kids to come back to in-person classes after being out of the classroom for two years. To make this transition as easy as possible, help your child set small, achievable goals for the first week of school. These can be things like locating classrooms, learning teachers’ names, and reconnecting with old friends.

Take Your Child to Orientation

Attending your child’s school’s orientation event will help them feel more at ease. They can map out the school (if it’s new to them), meet their new teachers, and learn what their daily schedule will be. But perhaps most importantly, orientations allows you and your child to explore school support services. These will typically include tutoring and counseling services.

Going back to school has always been something that feels stressful to many kids, but this year in particular, many students will be having a hard time. If you follow these guidelines, your child will feel confident about the year ahead.


8 ways to approach the return to school

Student Mental Health Post-Pandemic

At no other time in history have schools had to face so many challenges. The COVID-9 pandemic required teachers, students, and faculty to quickly pivot and move classes to an online environment during times of great uncertainty.

Despite the work involved to keep education going, students of all ages have still been significantly impacted by the stress of lockdowns. Many students are dealing with mental health challenges as a result.

A recent study looked at 195 students at a large public university in the United States to understand the effects the pandemic has had on their mental health. The researchers found that 71% of the participants were experiencing increased stress and anxiety as well as depressive thoughts. 

While many schools have opened back up, many students are still experiencing symptoms of trauma and mental health issues.

What Can Teachers and Faculty Do?

It’s important that teachers and faculty become educated themselves on the indicators of a mental health crisis in their students. What is the best way to recognize those students who may be having issues and need extra support?

All educational institutions should put in place universal screenings to identify those students in need. These screenings may involve brief questionnaires to gauge student emotional concerns. 

Schools should also be sure to have enough school-based mental health professionals on staff to provide direct support for at-risk individuals.

What Can Students Do?

Students should recognize their feelings and be open to sharing them with others. Reach out to teachers and staff and get the help you need.

And if you are a student who would like to talk with someone about the stress and anxiety you are feeling, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.