SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Educators are noticing some students are struggling to focus on classwork while simultaneously navigating the emotional toll of the pandemic.
It has been a few months since students returned to in-person learning in classrooms and as the pandemic continues, some educators are noticing more than the usual amount of behavioral issues.
Cal State East Bay Professor of Public Health, Michael Stanton same some student reactions in response to the pandemic was anticipated.
He says teachers and parents both have to remember that a child may be acting out as a way of dealing with the emotional trauma of losing a friend or family member to COVID-19.
“Just the gravity of a lot of them have lost loved ones throughout this pandemic. Not only that they see their parents or teachers experience a lot of stress and anxiety due to the pandemic. That has really affected all of us.”
Knowing how to spot the signs that a child may be struggling emotionally is important.
“You often will see kids acting out. Maybe being more aggressive with other students or kids. You might see them being really shy and not speaking at all. When normally they would have. You might also see students being really distracted instead of focusing on the lesson at hand.”
When these behaviors occur, he says it is important not to over-correct.
“I think sometimes we want to jump to punishing students for not doing what we wanted them to do. I know that seems like the right thing to do but actually, we know from research rewarding good behavior is a much better way of getting students to do what you want them to do.”