What else have you learned about how students are responding and coping during the stay-at-home period?
Josh: In addition to the social elements I mentioned, there is an emotional element that has arisen with distance learning. As the parent of two young children, I am seeing this from both the school and a parent’s perspective. Children are angry, lonely, confused and scared. So, the question is, how do we build supports so we can manage this with children and their families? We not only have to work with the child, but with the parent also to educate them on how they can support their child in a way that they have never had to before – because this is new to everybody. We tell parents to do the best they can, be empathetic, compassionate, flexible and resilient. We are all in this together.
On the bright side, this is an opportunity for students to learn a new level of independence that it seems children experience less of in the modern-day school setting. There are so many supports and structures in school now to provide students with help. Distance learning has taken those supports away, so students need to start independently asking “where am I right now in my day, where do I have to spend my time right now, what is a priority, how can I get in touch with my teacher, etc.…”.