South should support students during the transition back to in-person learning


Photo courtesy of Memotext

Ivette Dimitrova, Columnist

Rolling out of bed and hopping onto a Zoom class is completely different to waking up early in the morning and going to class at school. A handful of students at South have been feeling disorientated, agitated, discontented, and gloomy in this new environment. However, experiencing all of those feelings isn’t something that should be swept under the rug. Instead, it should be brought up in conversations and attended to immediately.  

During the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been vital to keep physical distance between people that don’t live together. Schools, on the other hand, enforced wearing a mask on at all times. Facial expressions are crucial to help communicate feelings and supply reassurance, so being around masked faces can augment feelings of uncertainty. Students attending classes might feel eerie and overwhelmed from seeing all the changes set in place. This may cause a growing sensation in some students to believe that they don’t belong there anymore. Furthermore, students can find it uneasy to get acquainted with others because of the risk of getting Covid-19 and infecting their families. While some students are generally flexible and may adapt to any given situation, the precautions South has taken to guard students’ health may make transitions to new situations and meeting new people harder.

In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased stress, fear, and worry for several families. Trouble with sickness, finances, isolation, coping with grief from loss, or having less outside help has made parenting more than stressful. Many families have reported sensing an increase to anxiety and acting out in their kids’ behavior. Research conducted from the University of Minnesota, has concluded that depression and anxiety rates have gone up 25.2% and 20.5%, since the start of the pandemic. Schools shouldn’t neglect this. 

Alternatively, they should assist students that are going through these issues. Schools can aid students and their families by promoting social and emotional learning. Making the transition from home to school may especially be wearying for students with developmental, behavioral, or emotional problems, too. So, going to school two or three times a week can be a start to providing guidance for them with the new school year. Parents, teachers, and organizations can help students succeed during this transition, make strong connections, and establish new routines. Organizations like the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health can be of great use to students if they ever feel the need to reach out. With all that said, students with the right support can adjust to their new circumstances easier, make new friends, learn new things, and thrive.