In a recent survey, teachers were asked to describe in their own words how they were feeling about the school year during the pandemic. The response? Anxious, fearful, worried, overwhelmed, and sad.
In 2017, a similar survey was conducted. The responses then? Frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed, tired, but happy.
What’s changed? Well, the answer is obvious… the world has changed. A pandemic is underway. On top of worrying about their students, learning new technologies, and developing lesson plans, they’re also worried about their own families, home life, and health.
Teachers could really use our support right now. So what can we do to help as the school year kicks off? A lot.
Let’s take a look…
Talk to Your Children
It’s difficult for little minds to wrap their heads around a pandemic and this “new normal.” But helping your kids understand why things are different right now can take some stress off teachers.
Encourage your child to follow the protocols, whether that’s diligently wearing their masks for in-person learning or being attentive and respectful during e-learning. We’re all navigating this together but finding little ways here and there to educate your child on their role during the pandemic can help.
If you aren’t sure how to talk to your kid about the coronavirus, there are tons of resources available for parents. Here are a few to point you in the right direction:
- Mayo Clinic – How to talk to your kids about Covid-19
- CDC – Talking with Children about Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Kids Health – Coronavirus (COVID-19): How to Talk to Your Child
- Child Mind Institute – Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus Crisis
Little acts of kindness go a long way. Buy your child’s teacher an e-gift card for some much-needed caffeine or send them a positive note to tell them they’re doing a great job. Kindness is contagious, and it doesn’t take much. Let them know they matter and what they’re doing is making a difference. It could give them the boost they need to get through a difficult day.
Teachers may not be able to answer your questions right now because they’re navigating these new waters right alongside you. They’re trying to figure out what the school year will look like with so many unknowns and so much still up in the air.
As the school year progresses, teachers may find certain things more helpful. So keep lines of communication open and reach out every now and then. Ask if there’s anything you can do to make things a little easier… it could be as simple as buying them a bottle of hand sanitizer.
Remember the age-old adage: “everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”? Well, try your best to keep this at the forefront right now. It’s so easy to get frustrated with the current situation because it involves the health and safety of your child. But just remember that teachers are doing the best they can with what they’ve been given.
Plus, they’re in the same boat as you, working through their own anxieties and fears. And on top of it all, they’re likely franticly coordinating care or learning for their own children. So really, the simplest way you can offer support is to give them grace. With so many unknowns, the school year may be a little rocky. Do your best to approach the year with an open mind, patience, and a heart of forgiveness.
What have you found helpful as your children have started back to school? Let us know in the comments!