Building Resiliency and Hope Moving Forward
I believe that when we re-open schools we need to pay attention to the psychological messages that are sent to our students by the actions with which we ask them to take in the name of "safety". I believe that moving forward we have a unique opportunity to integrate SEL across the curriculum. What an opportunity to discuss and engage in building resiliency not as a vague, esoteric topic, but true integration as it relates to historical figures, scientific discoveries and literature themes to name a few.
However, these initiatives may be strongly challenged by "safety" measures that are fear-based, rather than science driven. You cannot reduce anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorders etc... when you are constantly lecturing students to "put on their face masks" as they are "diseased" and removing the number one need for combating mental health challenges (social support) by engaging in social distancing from their peers, teachers, and school staff. We as educators, as primary models for our students, must model resiliency and hope---not fear.