Like every year, the first day of school is an important time for all children and their families. This year, however, the start of school takes on an even more significant role. A central role for the whole of society in general. The resumption of school, in fact, represents the demonstration that we are learning to live with this terrible virus. To date, we still do not have the tools to defeat the Coronavirus, and the resumption of a daily life confirms our ability to be able to “move forward”. For this reason, therefore, the first day of school at the time of the Coronavirus becomes such a central topic for the whole of society.
This year more than ever, the end of the summer holidays marks a significant moment for everyone. Contrary to what a stereotypical thought may suggest, the first day of school at the time of the Coronavirus for children and teenagers is a long-awaited moment. In fact, as never before in this period, children and young people have breathed an atmosphere of uncertainty with respect not only to the future, but also to the present. Many times in recent months I have met children and adolescents who expressed their desire to go back to school. Regardless of their desire to study, in fact, many children reported the desire to return to a known, known normality. A predictable routine for them, in which they had the opportunity to think about themselves and organize themselves. Knowing that on a certain day they return from school for lunchtime, rather than remain in class until the afternoon, is essential for children in order to promote their organizational capacity and, therefore, autonomy. It is only in this known, defined and predictable context that children can experience and define themselves as people.
The desire to see friends, to stay away from home, to resume sports or the most popular activities, is closely connected with the beginning of school. The desire to return to normal, let us remember, is not only important for the adult, but, also and above all, for children. The first day of school at the time of the Coronavirus represents precisely this: the demonstration that, even if in a different way than in the past, a predictable and known everyday life is possible.
The Importance Of Giving Meaning To The Suspension Of These Months
The return to school these days is a delicate and extremely complex moment. For society, which touches a possible recovery and experiences the ability to live with the Coronavirus. But not only. The first day of school in the time of the Coronavirus is extremely meaningful for every child. The return cannot be left to chance. And it is not just a question of scrupulously respecting the safety measures that must be adopted to preserve one’s health and that of others. That is fundamental, but not sufficient.
In fact, from the first day of school to the time of the Coronavirus, it is also central to make sense of the suspension of school lessons. We don’t think the kids have been happy to be home all these months. We do not think that the little ones have arrived for months and months of vacation. Nothing could be more wrong. Children too, like adults and perhaps even more so, have experienced terrible months, a source of anguish and uncertainty. Months and months without understanding what was happening (especially the little ones) and what they could do to protect themselves, their family and their friends from this terrible invisible enemy.
Helping children to give meaning to what has happened in recent months is essential and is one of the tasks of the school, of any order and degree. Because children, like adults and perhaps even more, have been the silent victims of this terrible pandemic. Helping the little ones to make sense of this period means giving them a way to express what they have lived and experienced; give voice , therefore, to their emotions . It is not obvious and, at school perhaps the first time, they can do it in a context other than that of the family. Restarting from their emotions, therefore, would allow children and young people to be more protagonists in a story that saw all of us passive in the face of an invisible and uncontrollable enemy.
THE THEME OF UNCERTAINTY. In this period more than ever, the term uncertainty is central in the life of each of us. Children and teenagers included, we do not think otherwise. Rather. Many scholars, in pre-Covid times, emphasized how the future has been stolen from young people. Today, at the time of the Coronavirus, perhaps we can say that the present was also partly stolen from them. Research shows that these months have seen an increase in the number of anxiety symptoms in children and young people. Uncertainty, in fact, does not only refer to the continuation of lessons in the presence. “Will we still go to school tomorrow?”. No, it’s not just that. It is something much deeper and broader. Something that risks significantly influencing the development of children and the definition of their identity.
THE FEAR OF THE OTHER O. In a society that already teaches young people to be afraid of the Other, the arrival of the Coronavirus has amplified this concept exponentially. The use of masks and the obligation of social distancing refer to an idea of the Other as a potential enemy. The Other, therefore, is the one who can infect me and make me sick. This, of course, can amplify fears, anxieties and outright phobias in children. Being able to grasp security measures as something that can favor one’s own well-being and that of others (and, not only, as protection from the Other) becomes fundamental, even if very complex.
A school is a place of learning especially for Early Childhood Education And Care Certification Melbourne. But not only. Especially at this moment, the school must assume a central educational role.
We do not blame the children and young people for what happened. “They’ve had time to rest,” many might say. Absolutely not. The suspension of school was not a choice of the boys and, many times, not even something they have experienced so quietly. It is something they have undergone. Someone, perhaps, more positively than others. However, it is not their choice.
There are many debates on the promotion of children this year and on debt recovery. The focus, however, should perhaps be shifted to something else. The boys found themselves studying independently, with a model never experienced by the system until now. This, with all the shortcomings of the case. In the face of many schools and teachers who have organized themselves in a really efficient way, there have been situations where this has not been possible. It is not fair to penalize children for something they themselves have been victims of. The beginning of the New Year, therefore, should keep this in mind and start from here. From the recovery of a complex year, difficult from many points of view, where learning must be resumed, but, perhaps, not be the exclusive priority.
It becomes essential, as mentioned above, to give meaning to what happened, to give children and young people the opportunity to express the emotions related to what has been experienced and are still experiencing today.
The first day of school at the time of the Coronavirus, therefore, is not just a restart. It must become an opportunity for a real rethink of the school, its children and its teens.