reopening schools

Tips to Transition Your Student Back to the Classroom

The expectations for students pre-COVID are different, and both students and parents need to understand the change.

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Many teachers and parents are wondering how to help students as children transition back to the classroom from online learning.

The main question adults should be asking is, " 'How can I best support you during this time?' " said Dr. Tonika Green, who is with San Diego State University's Counseling & School Psychology program.

Green said the return to the classroom will be different for each child.

"Get them back to normalcy," Green said. "It's a tough time transitioning from virtual to face-to-face."

For parents who are struggling with the transition, Green has a few tips to help students make the transition.

Green's daughter has been back in class face-to-face for almost a month, and the guidance she gave to her daughter is the same she's giving to parents: Survive physically, thrive academically and revive.

"I want her to survive physically -- that means I'm always telling her to wear her mask on campus, wash your hands frequently -- but also to follow the safety precautions on campus," Green said.

Green points out that we all need to give students space.

"Give students some grace and allow them to transition at their own pace and in their own way academically," Green said

Green said the last piece of advice is to let the students do what they enjoy during their time off.

"Give them time to breathe a bit to get back to doing some things that they love," Green said.

That last bit of advice works for teachers and parents as well.

"You know, taking that time to revive and reboot so that you can be your best self for your student," Green said. "Show them what self-compassion looks like in your own interactions with them and with others."

Green said it's important to make time to talk to your kids and check in with them to make sure they're OK, and to take advantage of the school's support system when they need help.

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