Classes resumed this year with students of all ages returning amid nerves and excitement after on and off distance learning mandates have affected their education throughout the pandemic. Coping hasn’t been easy, so this month, we asked for only students, parents, and educators to respond to our question. We asked those directly affected to reflect on what, if anything, the most difficult thing has been in their eyes for students about returning to full-time in-person classes.
Although there have been countless benefits to our students returning to campus, there have clearly been challenges. The most difficult aspect for students has been what we call “renorming.” Kids of all ages have had to once again get used to the high expectations of school life and living together in a close community … socially, behaviorally, and academically.
[It’s hard to rebuild] a support circle and catch up on social/emotional learning skills after being in social isolation for over a year. Kindergarteners are now jumping into second grade without mastering skills to self regulate in a classroom and manage conflicts on the playground. [Yet] kids are resilient and deserve a standing ovation for how well they’ve handled the pandemic.
I brought it up at dinner with all of us there … but none of us was able to come up with anything that we felt was difficult in transitioning back to school this year. My kids jumped right back in and made friends right away; they love their teachers and they’re happily engaged in their classrooms and in after-school sports. It’s been so nice to be busy again.
Social interaction. My daughter is 4 and there has been a huge gap learning to play with others.
They’re only allowing students who are low income or have parents who are frontline workers to take school busses. While my son is 15 and takes an e-bike to high school, parents are now spending time and fossil fuels driving back and forth to multiple schools. My daughter is 9, and lack of busses takes away that independence [of] walking to and from the bus stop in the morning.