Back to School In a Covid World

It has been over a year since my daughter has received her academic education in person, and I am excited yet nervous. I took my daughter to do her shopping for the beginning of this school year, and while I watched her choose supplies, I confess that I began to feel a mixture of feelings including joy, fear, and uncertainty. As a mom, I won’t ever stop worrying about her.

This year she begins the eighth grade, which for her will be her first year in middle school and her last year before she heads to high school. I am happy she will be returning to “normal” classes after having been in virtual classes during the seventh grade. We all know the reason; Covid 19 changed our lives and the lives of all students.

I can’t help but feel fear, because we still don’t know if everything that has been planned will actually work. I am referring to how students will respond to this new form of in-person classes, vaccinations, distancing, masks wearing, weekly Covid tests for those students who have not yet been vaccinated, etc. It will be quite a change, and sometimes it takes time to adapt. Although it will not be easy, I also do not think it’s impossible. So cheer up guys! That said, the feeling of uncertainty, and lack of security, puts me in a terrible state of emotional restlessness. It’s not somewhere I like to be. 

I have friends with children the same age. We know teenagers this age are already experiencing many types of physical and mental changes — adding environmental changes can result in added stress. Three out of the five moms agreed that in the last year our teens are feeling overly irritable, with anxious moods. We attributed it to confinement, lack of socialization, lack of physical activity in some cases, and all the bad things that the pandemic brought. As parents, we know all this has affected them. No student should be experiencing worry, stress, or anxiety about this return to class. I believe that every student should keep their focus solely on their studies and enjoy learning for their future.

I am not perfect as a mother, but I consider myself brave and focused on how I raised my family, receiving good advice from people who guide me to continue to do better every day. I also have the support of my husband in raising our children. Although I try my best not to show uncertainty and nervousness to my children, they know me too well and tell me, “everything will be fine Mom”. A

When we have our family talks about how we will adapt to the coming changes, I remind them that having tolerance will go a long way, and feeling empathy towards others will help us understand that there are families that have gone through very difficult situations. For example, some families have experienced the loss of family members. Yet, we are all in this same boat, and only by being in solidarity and sensitive to the situation of others will we be able to emerge stronger from this horrible pandemic. Obeying the new rules at school plays a very important role as well. At the end of these family talks, I realize I learn the most from my children. They have been and will continue to be my best teachers of life. I trust that together as a family, we will overcome this situation.

As a mother, I give you some recommendations:  

-Educating our children with empathy and tolerance towards others will be of great help.  

-Talk to your children and let them express how they feel about this new back to school.

-Listen carefully to their opinions and comments. 

-Most importantly, do your best to clarify all of their doubts.

For you parents, I have these questions: 

-How do you feel as a parent facing these changes? 

-How have you been preparing?

-Have you had family talks about returning to school?

-Are you ready for this new year and new rules?

Share with us how you feel about it!

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MaryCarmen Plancarte

MaryCarmen Plancarte

MaryCarmen is an entrepreneur, wife and mother of two children. Her main priority is helping her children succeed in school. She values quality education and supports school choice.

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