“In These Uncertain Times”: Returning to School in an Age of Anxiety
“In these uncertain times“ is a phrase that has been thrown about so frequently during our struggles with managing and adapting to COVID-19 that it has become a cliché. Even so, the situation we find ourselves in is nothing if not uncertain, and nowhere is this more evident than the question of what school will be like for our children upon their intended return to the classroom after a five month absence.
While none of us truly know how it will be for our children when they return to school this fall , there are lessons that we can take from the experiences of children returning to school after other significant societal disruptions, such as after the 9/11 terrorist attack. In this talk, we will examine the long-term psychological experience of children during episodes of societal disruption, including factors that are associated with a higher degree of symptoms, as well as things that schools and others can do to try and ensure better outcomes. We will cover important concepts such as psychological first aid and other effective interventions that can support children who are struggling emotionally.
These may be uncertain times, but that does not mean that we have to enter them unprepared.