Back to School feels a little different this year! Along with the old standard school supplies like pencils, notebooks, and markers, students are loading their backpacks with the needs of 2021: masks and hand sanitizer. While districts across the country strive to re-acclimate students to the rigors of classroom instruction, it’s important to remember that this transition might just feel like the “First Day of School” all over again.
Students across the country will be in classrooms full-time this fall, a major change from the past year in which many districts conducted some form of virtual or hybrid/mixed instruction. With the return to a normal schedule, students will be expected to adjust to the timing of a standard classroom. The shift will be hard for some young people; while they may have made their own schedule in the past year and taken breaks as needed, being back in the school building means focusing for eight uninterrupted hours.
Beyond the change in hours and expectations, back to school means the potential for great social change. For some students, it is going to be a tremendous positive to be face-to-face with their teachers and peers after a year behind a screen. Meanwhile, others may feel anxious. One perk of the digital model for some students was feeling less scrutiny from their peers, with the anonymity of school without social interaction allowing them to focus on their schoolwork. Another concern that is arising is the policies of many districts to focus on “accelerating” education, encouraging teachers to make up for lost time. Finally, your family might be apprehensive about returning to in-person instruction from the perspective of COVID transmission.
The greatest truth of returning to in-person instruction is that it is a change, and changes can be challenging. While we hope that back to school is an exciting time for your family, we are here to support you with the transition and to work with your children socially, emotionally, and academically.