Greg Larsen: students and daunting challenges

Published: 05/29/2022 13:14:59 Modified: 05/29/2022 13:12:57 It is true that children have lost ground academically since the star...



Published: 05/29/2022 13:14:59

Modified: 05/29/2022 13:12:57

It is true that children have lost ground academically since the start of the pandemic. This is a serious problem that we must tackle.

But rather than face masks, I think most of this learning loss is likely due to several daunting challenges the children have endured over the past few years.

First, over a million Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19 so far, which means far too many children who knew them have lost someone in their life. Many other children were scared and worried about losing someone. Living in grief and living in fear complicates children’s learning.

Second, many children have been attending school remotely for an extended period of time. I think the teachers did their best during remote learning, but the loneliness, disengagement, and many disruptions associated with a quick and unplanned shift to remote learning made it more difficult for the children to learn.

Third, the children had to deal with a huge amount of uncertainty and chaos. The financial situation of many families has deteriorated. The past few years have been full of distraction, upset, numbness, anxiety and sleep deprivation – all consequences that make it difficult for children to learn.

So what do we do with masks in schools? The epidemiological science remains clear: wearing high-quality masks indoors reduces the airborne spread of the COVID-19 virus. So, especially during peak cases, having children wear masks at school will protect the health of everyone at school and anyone students see outside of school.

While a worrying possibility to consider, the loss of a family member, teacher or friend would make a child’s learning much more difficult than wearing masks. . I suggest giving each child a box of high quality clear face masks (so kids can lip read) and then demanding them inside the school.

Second, every child should have the opportunity to work with a trained mental health professional to manage the burden the pandemic has placed on them. Addressing children’s mental health will help them learn far more effectively than any masking policy ever could.

Greg Larsen

Hadley



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Newsrust - US Top News: Greg Larsen: students and daunting challenges
Greg Larsen: students and daunting challenges
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