Let’s face it: times continue to be stressful for many students. Here are four suggestions you can make to help your students navigate the ups and downs of school as well as the added pressures of the current climate:
Refresh the routine. Routine is important and has fallen by the wayside for many during the last year. Remind your students that structure and consistency (with sleep and day-to-day activities) will minimize stress in their lives. Reinforce a good routine in your classroom, even when you’re teaching remotely.
Encourage collaboration. One of the hardest parts of the last 14 months for many students has been the continued isolation. Find ways to get students connecting and working together when feasible.
Remind students to step away from screens. The amount of screen time students have this year is overwhelming. Encourage students and their parents to limit computer time, since it can have an adverse effect on mental health.
Tell students about school resources. Sometimes, students need support from professionals – this year especially. Let your students know about the counseling and support services that are available through school, whether they’re feeling anxious, sad, withdrawn, or all of the above. Remind them that you’re available to talk, too.
Lastly, the best thing you can do for your students right now is show understanding and patience. Now more than ever, students and their families will appreciate that you empathize with what they’re going through and recognize that they might be struggling in a multitude of ways. Taking that approach will ease your students’ worries and stress and remind them that no problem is too great to overcome.