Our second week of a level of new normality here at school. The children, as I said last week, have really embraced being back at school and reconnecting with their friends.
I know that we don’t think we were affected by lockdown and the changes to our lives as a result of the pandemic. I thought that I was unaffected but I have come to the realisation that I have been affected and I know that by my emotional response to things that have never bothered me in the past.
I have noticed the same sorts of responses in many of our staff, so I can only assume that this is the case for many parents. Outwardly you (and me) appear fine, but people are quick to be anxious, or distress over things that would not have even been an issue pre Covid19.
When the teachers returned, I asked them to not dwell on lockdown with their students. Yes, acknowledge that it was great for some and challenging for others, but we were now moving forward. By and large this approach has worked for the children. However, my assumption that this was the case for adults was a little misguided.
People have lost their jobs, had their salaries or hours reduced and perhaps are struggling with the isolation of working from home. Feeling uncomfortable when someone invades the 2 metre space around us is a new sensation, in fact being aware of proximity, both ours and others, is a new emotional and physical challenge we have never had to deal with in the past. Using hand sanitiser everywhere we go is new for us, I find myself looking for it and feel uncomfortable if none is available. These are not huge things, but I have underestimated how all these small things have impacted on me.
Whilst most of our children initially seemed to be unaffected, I am hearing about the anxieties some children are showing at home. Their fear that they might catch the virus, their heightened awareness of strangers coming into their space, their frustration when they see others not following ‘the rules’. Some children are finding it hard to rationalise their anxieties. If your child is showing signs of anxiety, then please look out for the many well being initiatives and programmes available. The Ministry of Education recommends the Melon app as a useful tool Melon We are keeping a close eye on all children and will contact parents if necessary.
I have shared with our staff that I do want us all to support each other, understand where people are coming from and just generally re connect. This is true for everyone, parents, families and children.