Jul 31, 2021 Letters
With talks of schools being reopened, I share a concern that many parents may also share. Our children have been home for over a year. Throughout this time, they have had to adjust to the new norms of virtual learning. At least, this is true for the fortunate ones with an internet connection. However, I am certain that the prolonged feelings of isolation from not being able to interact with their peers and teachers will have repercussions. Ones that may only become evident as our students adjust to face-to-face learning in a post-pandemic classroom environment.
Some children may have become withdrawn. Some may not want to leave home. Others would have put on or even lost weight, or even lost a tooth. My point is that their physical and emotional traits may have changed to the point that some of their peers may tease or bully them. In the classroom, holding the students’ full attention may become a problem. This can frustrate teachers who would have also returned to the school’s environment with their own personal challenges. Teachers will have to ensure the children follow the COVID-19 guidelines to keep them and the class safe. This will not be an easy task.
I am sure I am only touching the tip of the iceberg. I therefore ask if the Ministry of Education has taken these potential issues into consideration. If not, I would propose that the Ministry begins to include content that promotes Social Emotional Learning techniques for students, caregivers, and educators across all their media platforms. I believe that if this is done properly, the emotional transition for everyone involved will be much easier.
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