Finally, it is time to return to school, and many of us will be deeply relieved to see the back of homeschooling, perhaps even the back of our teenagers if we are honest. Our lives will be easier; the screen battles will lessen; the fridge will stop emptying itself; we will not spend half the day trying to get them out of bed, and the rest of it wishing we had left them to sleep; we will once again be able to concentrate on our day jobs but, what about our teenagers? How are they feeling about going back through those school gates?
Our recent survey shows that the majority of teens are looking forward to being back amongst their friends and in the safe space school provides to fulfil their developmental drive for independence and identity. However, as September looms anxiety levels are rising for many teenagers, and top of their list of worries is reintegrating with their peers.
Teens who had a strong friendship group before Covid 19 hit were able to transfer their social interactions online, and when lockdown eased, by and large they were able to pick up where they left off. Not so for those who lacked social security before this extended period of isolation, and now face the prospect of starting all over again. For them it has been a relief to be away from the banter and jibes of the in-group. Many have flourished academically, free from the fear of being singled out by a teacher or forced to collaborate in group work. Covid gave them a reprieve from the stress of feeling like a misfit, and the idea of having to re-enter the arena is distressing.
Add to the mix the uncertainty around what they are returning to,
and we can appreciate that September 2020 is a ‘back to school’ like never before. So what can we do to make the transition as smooth as possible?
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