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The 2020 – 2021 school year has been very challenging for teachers and students. Students have been forced to learn remotely, in a hybrid model, synchronously, asynchronously and in a variety of other models for many, many months. To say it has not been hard, is an understatement. 

Taking certification tests has been a challenge. Deciding on careers such as an aws solution architect professional, has been put on hold. SpotoClub is a resource that can be very helpful to students, teachers, and parents in these trying times.

With vaccines and lower positivity rates, more and more schools are switching to a traditional, 5-day, full in-person learning environment. These changes can create anxiety, nervousness, and fear in children of all ages. 

One way parents might make the transition easier for a child is to celebrate reaching this milestone as a family.

There are a variety of ways of ways to do this:

  • Cook a favorite meal
  • Get takeout or go to a restaurant
  • Take a trip to an ice cream parlor or candy store
  • Buy a new book
  • Buy a lego or a favorite toy
  • Rent / watch a movie

Why should parents celebrate with your child?

Students have been asked to learn in a way that no other generation has. It is “unprecedented” (sorry I know we are all sick of this word, but it is true). If hybrid or remote learning was beneficial to the educational growth and personal development of students, it would be used regularly during “normal times.” The students have done the best they can. Some have excelled, some have failed, and ALL have struggled. 

Acknowledging the difficulty of the experience to a child, will help make the transition to in-person learning much smoother. It will signify a new beginning, a new opportunity, and yet another new learning environment.

Challenges of the return to In-person learning

A classroom teacher usually starts the year establishing an environment for learning. Many old school teachers follow the philosophy of “Don’t smile until Christmas.” After twelve months of at-home learning, students will need to make some possibly hard adjustments.

Being in a Classroom: A classroom is not a bedroom, kitchen table, couch, or basement. It is a different learning environment than the one a student has been in. Younger students my have more difficulty being in school. All students will need to adjust.

Being with Peers: Throughout time, students always face challenges getting along with peers. With the return to in-person learning, students will be interacting with a larger group of classmates for the 1st time in over a year. This will be a very difficult aspect of in-person learning for many students in all grade levels will need to adjust to. 

Joining Cohorts & Changing Classroom Dynamic: In the hybrid model, schools often created two different cohorts. Each cohort was in school on different days. Depending on how long the hybrid model was in place, these cohorts could have been learning separately for up to seven or eight months. 

At some point during the year, each cohort developed their own identity and comfort level. When the two cohorts join together, it will be back to square one. There will be a feeling out period of a few days / weeks before a new classroom identity is developed. This changing environment might present some challenges for a few students. 

Being “In School”: Having the flexibility to learn at home has been the reality for many students. Breaks could be taken without asking, snacks could be eaten whenever, and a student might even be able to spend a little time being comforted by a four-legged friend. All freedom will be gone for most students on the return to in-person learning. This will be a VERY big change! 

Lunch: Parents may not realize this, but lunch can be one of the most stressful parts of a school day for a child. Who will I sit with? Will I get picked on? Will someone comment about my shirt, haircut, test score, weight, or height? Will I be able to finish my lunch? Will we have time to be outside for recess? Will I be picked last for a kickball team? Will I have to stand alone.

As parents, we cannot imagine how the school environment has changed since we walked the halls. There is no way we can understand how learning has changed during the pandemic. Being an elementary school, middle school, or high school student today is so much harder given the circumstances of the world today. Let your children know you understand. Tell them you love them. Tell them you will support them. And above all, cut them some slack. 

Pick a great family celebration to have fun together. Your child / children (and you) deserve it.