Each year as the summer winds down, scholars naturally start to feel the excitement and nervousness of returning to school. With this year kicking off differently than usual, many of us may need additional support and encouragement as we transition back to campus.
Here are some ways you can help scholars manage their back-to-school jitters:
- Invite them to share: Ask open-ended questions to help them get back in the scholar mindset.
- What are you excited to learn about this year?
- What worries you about going back to school?
- How would you like to celebrate your first week of school?
- Connect with teachers and classmates: To overcome nervousness from seeing peers and teachers again after time apart, setup a video call connecting scholars with each other and say “Yes” to invitations from others. Help scholars exchange back-to-school photos with each other.
- Practice new routines: Having a routine can make a huge difference in how you feel. Help scholars create their routine and use a poster or wall calendar to keep track of their day. Positive rewards go a long way to reinforcing routine. Start practicing wearing a mask in preparation for returning to campus and show them photos of other children wearing masks.
Role play how to respectfully ask others to wear their mask or to practice social distancing:
- “Please wear your mask while we’re talking to each other. Your mask protects me.”
- “Let’s keep space between us. I feel safe if we are several feet apart.”
- Get help, if needed: Keep an eye out for warning signs that a scholar may need help with back-to-school anxiety. Some signs include changes in eating habits, sleeping problems, irritability, emotional outbursts, headaches, or a decrease in motivation. Reach out to your school Social/Behavioral Counselor if you think your scholar may be struggling more than usual.