BAKERSFIELD, Calif — Many students are just finishing up their spring break and are heading back into the classroom after over a year of being away from their campus. While many students are ready to get back to in-person learning, some students are struggling with the idea of heading back to school.
“We have been hearing a lot more about kids that are having a lot of anxiety about returning to school,” Jason Giffard, Behavioral Health Unit Supervisor at Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.
After months of distance learning, some schools throughout Kern County are starting to allow students back into the classroom, but after learning from home for such a long time, health professionals say that anxiety is on the rise.
“The worries and anxiety will be a little bit heightened this year because kids haven’t been in school for an entire year,” Giffard said.
And that goes for all students. According to Giffard, health officials are seeing students of all age groups developing anxiety about going back to in-person learning.
“The younger kids have different concerns than the older kids obviously. the younger kids seem to be more focused on what is it going to be like separated from my parents, what is my teacher like,” Giffard said.
While students in middle school and high school have voiced their anxieties about health concerns regarding COVID-19 safety in the classroom as well as social anxiety and interacting with peers again.
But, there are ways that you can help your student feel more comfortable about returning to in-person learning.
“Parents set the emotional tone in the household. so if you are expecting your child to be calm and confident. you have to find ways so that you can be calm and confident and model that for your kids,” Giffard said.
Behavioral Health says that the best thing to do for your child if they are feeling uneasy about heading back to the classroom is to create an open line of communication and talk to them about their concerns and problem solve the situation together. Giffard emphasized that having anxiety during this time is completely normal.
“It is hard to jump back into a routine as a kid after being an entire year off campus. so it is all about walking up on time, making sure that you are getting dressed. having that strong routine at home which will be able to transfer at school which will lessen that worry and strain,” Giffard said.