It has been over two years since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in India after which a long battle ensued with the virus and its many variants. It caused havoc in people’s daily lives but due to careful diligence, we have been able to achieve a semblance of normalcy in these tough times. For the last two years, students have been attending online classes from home using various video conferencing platforms like Zoom and GoogleMeet. With the recent decline in Covid-19 cases across the globe and due to significant challenges faced by the education system due to the pandemic, schools all over the world have gradually begun to resume their offline classes and India is following suit.
Many state schools have successfully recommenced their offline sessions following the guidelines issued by the government. The transition from online sessions to offline classes may prove to be overwhelming to children. For some, this would be their first time attending an offline class in school and the others will be attending an offline session after a long two years. Children must be exhilarated to meet their friends and teachers but it also requires a need to understand what the child will be undergoing at the time of transition and both teachers and parents must be present at every step of the way to help make the transition easier for the children. Here are some ways we, as a parent or a teacher, can assist the child for an easy transition:
- Introduce a ‘Back to school’ schedule: Introduce or reintroduce a back to school schedule in the child’s daily life for the offline sessions. It is important to establish a proper and early bedtime so that the child is well-rested and energetic for school the next morning. It is also crucial for the child to finish his homework and pack his bag the night before as it will make them more responsible and ready to take on the next day on a positive note.
- Awareness is key: We must remind the children to maintain social distancing even while in school. Children will be excited to meet their friends but they must not forget that the virus is very much still out there and we must take necessary precautions to stay safe. We must remind the children to always wear the mask and to sanitize their hands frequently, especially after touching any public surface or before any meal.
- Be on the lookout: Parents and teachers must always be on the lookout for any sort of stress or anxiety exhibited by the child, especially in Primary and Pre-primary classes. It would be their first time staying away from their parents and their homes and there is a possibility that it could lead to anxious behaviour among some students. Teachers ought to recognize such behaviours and properly guide the students and parents such that the child feels less anxious in the new surroundings around the child.
- Be patient: Teachers must be patient with the students who are both attending the offline sessions for the first time as well as those students resuming their offline classes. They are joining or rejoining the school after two years and thus will require some time to properly develop their writing skills. Being forbearing and giving children some practice would benefit their writing skills.
- Be understanding: Teachers and parents alike must seek to understand what the child wishes to convey verbally. The transition from online sessions to offline classes must be a new and thrilling experience for them. Therefore, they would have a lot to share with their teachers and their parents. Being composed and interacting with the students positively would only boost their morale.
Following these steps would make the child’s transition from online classes to offline classes easy and effective to the child as well as both the parents and teachers. Schools are not just spaces where the children are educated. It is also a space where the children develop their various skills and personality traits. For that reason, it is of dire need that the child must learn to appreciate and love their school and its surroundings.