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Embracing Change This School Year

By August 25, 2020April 6th, 2021Blogs, Jennifer Lynch, Psy.D.

COVID began infecting people in the United States earlier this year.  As a result, we have seen many changes to the way that we have been living our lives, learning at school, and visiting with our friends.  There will be many changes to our environment this year as our community begins to reopen.  In addition, there are things that people are trying to do to ensure that when the time is right, we will also be able to return to school safely.

When we do finally return to school and classrooms, things may look a little different including smaller class sizes; staggering start and end times; alternating days between students attending in-person classes and/or online learning; limiting the use of shared objects; increasing social distancing by spacing desks further apart; more outdoor lessons/activities; wearing face masks; and frequent hand washing and cleaning.  By following these guidelines, we can decrease the spread of germs and return to in-person learning.

This plan for reopening schools and our community is new for all of us, however, there are some things that we can do to help manage our anxiety around COVID and change.

~ Have a plan but be flexible. When we have a plan, we feel safe and secure.  Once your parents/caregivers have discussed a plan they’ll share it with you so that you can feel prepared.  Although, remember plans can change and that’s okay too.

~ Take things step-by-step. Just like school, not everything will reopen right away. Listen to your parents/caregivers as they develop guidelines to keep you safe when you go out.

~ Role play with your parents/caregivers about what to do if you feel uncomfortable when you are in public. Some of your friends may not follow the same set of rules regarding COVID that your family does.  If you are feeling nervous when someone is too close or is not wearing a mask, go ahead and tell them how you are feeling.

Remember change can be uncomfortable for anyone. We will get through this together.