Preparing To Go Back To School

Preparing To Go Back To School

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School is right around the corner and as many of us have heard our students will be going back to fully in-person learning this fall. Although many of us are happy to see our children go back to school some of us are still weary and a little anxious about what fall has in store for us. This article by NPR talks about the anxiety that parents are feeling about their children going back to in-person learning and what some school districts are doing to help ease this anxiety. Unfortunately not everyone is eligible to get vaccinated and in-person learning is best for our children as they learn much more than just math and spelling by being at school. Healthy Children’s article, Safe Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic, discusses many ways to help your children be as safe as possible in school this fall. 

Thankfully though many school districts in CT are doing their very best to prepare for any curve ball this fall decides to throw at them. However, that doesn’t always ease parents or children’s anxiety about returning to the classroom this fall. This brief article by the National Association for School Psychologists explains how to help children cope with the changes caused by Covid, especially how to help prevent anxiety. The article reminds us that children look to the adults around them on how to act and react in any given situation and that it is important to keep explanations age appropriate. Time Magazine explains in their article, Anxious About Returning to “Normal Life”? Try Emotional Vaccination, the importance of mentally preparing for the unexpected this fall. The article mentions that it is important to find your own coping methods for anxiety, because only once you have your own healthy coping methods can you help your children create their own healthy coping methods for anxiety. 

Unfortunately covid is not the only thing giving parents anxiety about returning to school, for some this is a brand new experience as they send their 3-, 4-, or 5- year olds off to school for the first time. This short article by Scholastic provides parents with some useful tips and tricks to help prepare their children for the first day of school. Some of the tips include visiting the school and classroom (if possible) ahead of time, making a portable photo album, and rehearsing self-help skills such as hand washing and cleaning up. From the field Bright Horizons, a private, for profit educational and family support provider, writes in their blog posts, Back-to-School: Are You Ready? and Preparing for Back to School in 2021, how to help prepare your student to transition into the school year whether it is their first time going to school or their last. If this is your first time sending a student to school or maybe it’s your third, this article by Public School Review provides some great tips for parents to help get their kids ready for school – such as stocking up on school supplies and using a calendar to keep track of schedules. 

Going back to school can not only be anxious for the parents, but it is also anxious for the children – especially after a year of inconsistency due to covid. This article and resource list by Child Mind provides great information on how to help your child’s anxiety about going back to school. The Washington Post provides a couple tips on how to prepare your kids for going back to school in their article More schools are reopening. Here’s how to prepare kids for The Return. The article discusses the importance of preparation, routine, structure, and discussion about the upcoming school year. CNN discusses the importance of doing mental health check-ins with yourself and your children and discussing feelings of worry and anxiety in their article Prepare your kids mentally for the transition back to school.

Educators are doing more than ever this fall to provide a safe environment for students to return to the classroom. However some educators, just like everyone else, have some anxiety about returning to the classroom. This article by Scholastic provides tips for new teachers, but is useful for teachers who need a little reminder on what a normal classroom looks like within the first few days of school starting. The CDC provides information in their article, COVID-19 pandemic: Helping young children and parents transition back to school, for educators and parents alike on how to help ease the transition to in person learning. Child Mind’s article Preparing Your Child to Go Back to School In-Person also provides information on the anxiety that educators are feeling about reengaging children this fall that might have been lost in the system due to virtual learning when they return to fully in-person learning. 

The 2020 school year was like no other and this school year, we hope, is going to seem a little more like normal. 

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