August/September SELF Newsletter

R.I.S.E.

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R. I. S. E.

Parents, teachers and administrators are hard at work imagining Covid-19 friendly classroom settings, extra safe playgrounds and making sure that everybody’s body is safeguarded when school restarts in a couple of weeks. Physical distancing and face coverings are on top of the list, and with them, a giant, dangerous side effect: disconnection.


You’ve probably heard this statement at least once in your life: “human beings are social beings.” We are biologically wired to search for physical and emotional connection. We depend on them to survive and yet with the need for face covering and physical distancing we are being asked to act exactly in the opposite way. Against our natural instincts.


With Covid-19 and this connection off limits, we will see an increase in emotional and behavioral challenges as well as a decrease in the quality of the school atmosphere. Teachers and students will need to find ways to emotionally recharge more often, possibly needing more breaks and different resources from which to recharge.


Increasing the feeling of belonging has historically proven to effectively solve the challenges of loneliness, disconnection, disengagement, friction and misbehavior, and is therefore the workaround suggested for the case.


To counteract for the lack of connection and interaction and develop a strong feeling of belonging, the use of the following strategies is suggested:

  • Play and engagement
  • Empathy
  • Encouragement
  • Talking feelings
  • Development of meaning
  • Boundary setting
  • Use substitute sources of Oxytocin

Creating a “human friendly” environment to counteract the restrictions during Covid-19 is definitely possible, and our students, teachers and administrators deserve it.


For more of this article and additional strategies, click here.

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