While some September school routines have stayed the same – back to school shopping, extracurricular activities – others are new, such as COVID-19 safety protocols, and the return to in-person or virtual classes. We know the changes to this year’s routine can incur some anxiety for educators and children alike, so we’ve put together some resources to help educators navigate their way through this difficult time to help better support themselves and the children, particularly those who are suffering from anxiety, in their care.

What Educators can do for Their Students 

  • Use social emotional learning (SEL) strategies to help students rebuild relationships, strengthen their sense of belonging, and promote a healthy school climate 
  • Use CASEL (the Collaborative, Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) strategies to help tend to students’ social emotional needs 
  • Pay close attention to students’ behavior – it isn’t always easy to recognize a student suffering from anxiety 
  • If you believe a student is suffering from anxiety, connect with their parents and prioritize mental health over academic achievement 
  • Provide students with the appropriate school resources and information they need 

What Educators can do for Themselves 

  • If keeping students’ and themselves safe from COVID in the classroom is causing anxiety, prepare the classroom with social distancing rules and COVID posters 
  • Watch for warning signs both physical (like stomach issues) and mental (like avoidance) and address them right away, with strategies to overcome them 
  • Manage their feelings by carving out quality time for themselves and doing things that help relieve their anxiety and stress by doing activities like journaling or exercising 

Going back to school after a year of remote learning can be stressful for children and educators as COVID-19 has taken a toll on their mental, physical, emotional, and developmental wellbeing. Fortunately, there are many tools available to help make for a smoother transition back to in-person classes. Social emotional learning, recognizing the warning signs, managing feelings, and being prepared are just some of the strategies educators can use to manage the transition. 

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