Coping up with mental health among adults demands different types of methodologies and needs as per the individual. But in the case of children, it is quite similar. In some cases, closing schools and other restrictions might have been beneficial for children who love to stay at home because of the security they feel in common surroundings. But on the other hand, it must have surely been challenging for children to stay away from the routine. Moreover, isolation results in stress and anxiety.
Paul Haarmanelaborates top 3 ways that teachers must consider while dealing with their student’s mental health:
- Acknowledge the concerns of students: COVID- 19 has affected the mental health of people despite their respective ages, it becomes the sole duty of the teachers to look after their student’s mental health. Teachers should develop a healthy environment where the students feel comfortable to discuss how they feel.The teachers must acknowledge the concerns of the students and take precautionary actions wherever required. It is also understood that it can be difficult for the students to concentrate at the beginning,and hence proper breaks must be included in the routine of the students where they get to move around and connect with their classmates.
- Spread accurate information about COVID- 19: As the students return to school surroundings after the spread of COVID- 19,their minds are occupied with different sorts of information regarding COVID- 19. It is the responsibility of the teachers to guide the students with accurate and scientific information about the coronavirus. Teachers should use student-friendly equipment for spreading awareness among children.
Apart from enlightening the students with all the details of COVID- 19, it is also crucial to ensure that the schools provide adequate knowledge to the students on how to deal with covid positive patients.
- Invite suggestions from the students for developing a comfortable environment in schools: Welcome the ideas from the students on how to make the classrooms feel comfortable to post covid. But make sure that there is no violation of any precautions as per the safety of both students and teachers says Paul Haarman. There are various ways to make the students feel comfortable back on school premises, like letting the students paint school walls with welcome and motivational messages, dividing the students into small groups and assigning them fun learning activities, etc.Appreciating the students for their efforts to get back to school routine also helps in encouraging them.
Teaching does not only mean delivering information to students. Rather it is a job to shape the personalities of the students. In a time where COVID- 19 has already spread a lot of stress among everyone, a teacher’s job to deal with the students has become even more hectic and crucial. Hence, along with taking care of the student’s mental health, it is equally important to acknowledge your mental health too.