2 minutes reading time (469 words)

The Path to Recovery Starts from Wellbeing


Although the pandemic is still very much happening, and there are millions of people living under severe restrictions, something has changed. We now look forward to a brighter future, gradually leaving behind the imminent danger of yet again being forced to cut physical contact with our nearest and dearest. You can hear children playing in schoolyards, see students filling libraries, and feel the joy of reunion. However, it's impossible to pretend the last 18 months didn't happen. Time and research will tell in which ways the pandemic has affected different countries, societies, groups, and individuals, but already we know a thing or two.

Covid-19 has made students, teachers, and parents alike face huge challenges, causing historic learning loss, mental health problems, and trauma. Loneliness, insecurity, and stress have hovered over the everyday life of millions of children and young people. Even though it's been tough for everyone, those with less life experience have less social-emotional capacity too, to deal with such huge and unpredictable changes. According to a survey conducted in October 2020, 75 percent of US educators strongly agree that support for social and emotional skills is more important than ever. *

To tackle the crisis and mitigate its long-term consequences, we at School Day want to advocate more awareness for mental health and social-emotional development. The past year and a half have made us better realize the importance of wellbeing, but the next, essential step is to practice how we preach. Attaining a sustainable recovery from Covid-19is a must, that requires the implementation of wellbeing and learning skills into the day-to-day life of schools. This is why we encourage all teachers to seize the opportunity and take a moment in class to talk about all kinds of moods, feelings, and emotional experiences with students.

Different people react differently, and you might find new tensions and challenges in your class. Having been apart from others, each coping with their own abilities and circumstances has enhanced the feelings of disconnectedness and weakened the capability of managing social situations. Problems with concentration and teamwork are not uncommon in situations like this, and it may take a while to rebuild functional class dynamics and regain trust. As a teacher, it's essential to acknowledge that this doesn't happen over one night. There are good and not-so-good days, and that is okay. Every student is an individual, and so is every teacher. By learning together and supporting each other we will emerge from the crisis, stronger and closer to each other than ever before.

American Federation of Teachers. (2020, October 21). Educators Say COVID-19 Has Greatly Exacerbated the Grief Support Crisis in Schools, According to New Survey. Retrieved from:
https://www.aft.org/press-release/educators-say-covid-19-has- greatly-exacerbated-grief-support-crisis-schools.  

Henriikka Heinonen

Henriikka Heinonen

Guest Writer
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