As a parent, you know that your kids aren’t okay. You’ve seen them struggle with online learning during the pandemic, can feel their anxiety when it comes to going back to the classroom, and you’ve had to push them outside their comfort zone on more than one occasion to get them past the social hump that we’re all feeling.
Too many of our kids missed out on big milestone events because of COVID. They’re sad. We’re sad. And we’re all still struggling.
Sadly, many schools tossed kids back into over-crowded classrooms and expected to go on with business as usual. But the reality is that nothing is normal anymore.
It’s okay for our kids to need more support and guidance today. That’s one of the great benefits of a micro-school: Having additional built-in support systems, smaller class sizes, better access to specialists. In short, more support and guidance for the kids who need it most.
And yet. It’s not solely a teacher’s responsibility to make sure that each student in their classroom is okay. Just like a parent can’t parent alone. It takes a village.
I recently talked to Jordan Posamentier on the Education Evolution podcast. As the vice president of policy & advocacy at Committee for Children, Jordan helps to support youth mental health and well-being through policy and advocacy for change.
Jordan acknowledged that our kids already struggled with emotional and mental states before the pandemic and now it’s exacerbated. We can’t afford to not pay attention to this. “We need kids thriving, to be future-ready, to be happy with where they are and where they’re going,” he said.
So what can we do as parents and educators, those non-medical professionals?
- Talk to your teachers or principal and ask, “What are you doing to attend to my child’s social and emotional well-being as we continue to work on academic recovery, resocialization, and acclamation to the school environment?”
- Sign up with Committee for Children to get pre-populated messages that you can customize and send to your lawmakers.
Everyone should be working to ensure our kids are okay; it’s not the sole responsibility of parents or teachers or mental health professionals. If we want to make sure our kids are ready to be tomorrow’s leaders, making sure our kids are okay needs to be a collective responsibility and priority.
You can listen in to my conversation with Jordan below.