Challenges faced by parents and teachers due to offline schools post COVID-19

The impact that classes have in person, is never going to be the same offline.

Alisha LalljeeUpdated: Monday, July 11, 2022, 10:31 AM IST
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Challenges faced by parents and teachers due to offline schools post COVID-19 | FP PHOTO

As parents rejoice the fact that, their kids are back to school, schools simultaneously face certain difficulties that need to be addressed. It is an understood fact that on average, most children are very happy to come back to school. The impact that classes have in person, is never going to be the same offline. Over the past two years, children have grown physically, mentally and emotionally, most have come back to school as grown-up adults. Both parents and teachers face certain concerns primarily at the moment.

Restoring routines

The pandemic has resulted in many students losing the steady routine, as they had in school. This has affected their skills and overall performance, especially in basic reading and writing, which have now become more dependent on technology.

Relying on recorded lectures and PDF notes and typing out homework and exams for months, now students have to start taking notes and submit handwritten assignments as they are back to school. Students’ sleeping & eating patterns have changed. With remote learning, students had the freedom to attend classes from the comfort of their homes.

All of these were not an issue during online learning. However, the present challenge is now adjusting to the newly formed timetable at school and at home.

Screen time

Most students now own a phone, on account of online schooling held previously. Though school is now offline, the screen time still remains drastically the same. Most kids refuse to maintain screen time and there is a huge uproar at home when it comes to confiscating the phone. Some students bring cell phones to school, though it isn’t allowed by many schools.

Time management

Students sat for online schooling with their cameras off, most sat in pajamas, without brushing or bathing. With schools opening now, they are unable to manage their time in a productive manner, this includes reaching school late, not submitting work on time and an overall delay in managing time.

Sleep hygiene

This includes having a fixed time to sleep and wake up every morning. Students are unable to set an appropriate body clock (biology clock). Owing to online classes, most students were habituated to sleeping and waking up late. Most have admitted logging into school online and going back to sleep. Thus, this new transition is difficult for them.

Sitting tolerance

Studying from home and roaming around the house, was the old normal. Getting back to school and sitting in one place for a 30-40-minute class feels like a burden for students. Most students wriggle on their benches and find it very difficult to maintain attention.

School rules

Most schools are particular about the dress code of students. Students are entering the classroom with coloured hair, long nails, undersized uniforms and digital watches, which are not allowed. Here it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure the child adheres to the rules of the school.

Socio-emotional support

It is of utmost importance to help students develop their socio-emotional skills as they are back in school. Most schools provide counseling and support to all students, along with sessions in managing emotions and rebuilding, their social skills now that they are back in school after a very long time. Building resilience in students and helping them support each other is essential to reconnect and maintain a sense of community and camaraderie.

Fear and anxiety

Certain kids live in a lot of fear and anxiety post the pandemic. They may have lost a parent, family member or a loved one. These children need to be managed very sensitively. Here it is more important to focus on their emotional well-being before their academic performance.

It is a human tendency to adapt to change, however, it is not possible for everyone to adapt very quickly. Dealing with this transition has not only been difficult for students but many adults too. Most adults have admitted to missing working online in the comfort of their homes. Having a friendly and supportive environment will make this transition easy. It is important for parents to realize that this will not be a sole responsibility of the school only.

Working in tandem with the school and keeping track of, ‘what is happening at school’ will help the child do a lot better. Not overtly pampering the child, yet giving the child time to adjust to the new norm while at the same time working towards helping the child change for the better, would yield great results over time.

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